CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Checkers goaltender Justin Pogge stopped 40 of 42 shots but was bested in the shootout as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won, 3-2, on Wednesday evening.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got goals from its first three shooters and goaltender Brad Thiessen stopped three of four Charlotte skaters for his third shootout win of the season. Jerome Samson scored his 19th for Charlotte and pulled into a tie with Connecticut’s Jeremy Williams for the AHL lead.
The teams traded scoring chances throughout the first period and Wilkes/Barre Scranton took the lead with less than a minute to play. Ryan Craig took a pass from Chris Collins, walked out from the corner and tucked it between the legs of Pogge.
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Chris Terry replied for the Checkers with nine seconds to play in the period. Bryan Rodney passed over to Michal Jordan, whose point shot deflected into the air before Terry batted it over the blocker of Thiessen.
Early in the second period, Samson scored a shorthanded goal on a great individual effort to give Charlotte its first lead of the game. The Checkers leading scorer split two Penguins defensemen, went forehand-to-backhand and flipped the puck into the top corner.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came storming back, however, and scored just 41 seconds later when forward Chris Collins banked a shot off the skate of a Checkers defender and in.
The Penguins held a 24-15 shot advantage through two periods of play.
Each team had plenty of scoring opportunities in the third period, but both goaltenders held their ground and forced extra time. Pogge was exceptional, making a pad save on a 2-on-1 and a glove save on a one-timer with time winding down.
After a scoreless overtime with plenty of chances, the teams prepared for a shootout, where Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored three straight goals to take the 3-2 victory.
The Checkers (20-12-5) will travel to Albany and Springfield on Friday and Saturday, respectively, before returning on Thursday, Jan. 13 to host the Manchester Monarchs. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
NOTES: Jerome Samson is tied for the AHL lead with 19 goals…Jacob Micflikier has 11 points (5g, 6a) in his last 10 games… Justin Pogge has only three losses in regulation since Oct. 29 (11-3-2)…the Penguins have the AHL’s best road record at 13-3-0.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 (SO) at Charlotte Checkers 2 - Status: Final SO
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
W-B/Scranton 1 1 0 0 - 3
Charlotte 1 1 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Craig 9 (Collins), 19:01. 2, Charlotte, Terry 16 (Jordan, Rodney), 19:51. Penalties-Micflikier Cha (hooking), 15:45.
2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Samson 19 5:38 (SH). 4, W-B/Scranton, Collins 8 (Sneep, Potter), 6:19. Penalties-Blanchard Cha (interference), 4:11; Boulerice Wbs (slashing), 10:04; Matsumoto Cha (hooking), 14:10.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Boulerice Wbs (misconduct - abuse of officials), 13:28.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - W-B/Scranton 3 (Jeffrey G, Johnson G, Sterling G), Charlotte 1 (Terry G, Bowman NG, Micflikier NG, Nash NG).
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 17-7-15-3-1-43. Charlotte 8-7-7-3-0-25.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 3; Charlotte 0 / 1.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 16-3-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Charlotte, Pogge 11-7-2 (42 shots-40 saves).
Referees-Francis Charron (46).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone (7), Mike Sheehan (90).