CHECKERS SCORE THREE STRAIGHT TO CLIP FALCONS
Boychuk scores in first game back from Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C.— The Charlotte Checkers overcame an early deficit, scoring a pair of first period goals and outshooting the Springfield Falcons 43-22 on their way to a 3-1 victory on Wednesday evening.
Brett Sutter netted the game-winner for Charlotte, while Zach Boychuk and Jerome Samson scored the Checkers’ other two goals. Goalie Mike Murphy turned away 21 of 22 shots and made a pair of exceptional saves on breakaways.
Boychuk’s goal came in his first period back with Charlotte after a 16-game stint with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Springfield goalie Gustaf Wesslau had a busy night stopping 40 of Charlotte’s 43 shots.
Tomas Kubalik opened the scoring for Springfield, 6:43 into the first period. The big winger capitalized on a turnover in the Checkers’ zone, deked and snapped a shot past a sprawling Murphy.
Minutes later, Boychuk put on a one-man show to draw the Checkers even at 1-1. Boychuk came out from behind the net, maneuvered through a pair of defenders and wristed a shot over the left shoulder of Wesslau. The goal was number 11’s 11th of the season at 11:11 of the first period.
With 4:02 remaining in the first period, Sutter gave the Checkers a 2-1 lead. The former Calgary Flames forward found a loose puck in front and lifted a backhander over Wesslau for his fourth goal in the last four games.
Samson added an insurance goal, his league-leading 21st of the season, late in the third period to give the Checkers a 3-1 lead. Zac Dalpe skated into the offensive zone and fed Samson, who then rifled a wrist shot into the back of the net.
Murphy was solid in the final minutes and earned his 11th win of the season.
The Checkers (24-15-1-4) are back in action on Friday at 7 p.m. when they host Springfield once again. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Checkers trucker hat. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information. Friday night’s game will also be broadcast on Time Warner Digital Cable Special Events Channel 520 (Channel 519 in Raleigh/Fayetteville areas).
NOTES: The Checkers’ 22 shots in the first period were the most by the team in a single period this season…Zach Boychuk has eight (2g, 6a) points in his last four AHL games…Brett Sutter has eight points (5g, 3a) in his last seven games… The Checkers are ranked 1st in the AHL in Penalty Killing (87.0%)… Jerome Samson is tied for the league lead in goals (21) and leads the league in shots (208).
Springfield Falcons 1 at Charlotte Checkers 3 - Status: Final
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Springfield 1 0 0 - 1
Charlotte 2 0 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Springfield, Kubalik 12 6:43.2, Charlotte, Boychuk 11 (Osala), 11:11.3, Charlotte, Sutter 7 (Blanchard, Carson), 15:58 (PP). Penalties-TarnaskySpr (goaltender interference), 14:03; TarnaskySpr (tripping), 17:19.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Terry Cha (hooking), 7:44; GoloubefSpr (holding), 10:29.
3rd Period-4, Charlotte, Samson 21 (Dalpe), 14:17. Penalties-Boychuk Cha (high-sticking), 2:28; Holden Spr (slashing), 5:44; Rodney Cha (slashing), 13:11; Byers Spr (slashing), 13:45; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 17:50.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 8-7-7-22. Charlotte 22-16-5-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 0 / 4; Charlotte 1 / 5.
Goalies-Springfield, Wesslau 6-7-1 (43 shots-40 saves). Charlotte, Murphy 10-7-2 (22 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Curtis Marouelli (58), Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Mark Hamlett (81), Paul Carnathan (93).