MURPHY, DEFENSE SHINE AS CHECKERS DOWN BEARS, 5-0
HERSHEY, Pa. – Mike Murphy made 20 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Charlotte Checkers put together a full-team effort and blanked the Hershey Bears, 5-0, on Sunday evening in Pennsylvania.
Murphy has now won six straight games and is 15-2-0 in his last 17 starts.
Bryan Rodney led the way offensively for Charlotte with one goal and two assists, while Zac Dalpe added a goal and an assist. Dalpe now leads all AHL rookies with 38 points (17g, 21a) in just 39 games.
The Checkers wasted no time, scoring 31 seconds in on the first shot of the game. Rodney threw the puck on net from the point and it bounced off a Hershey defenseman onto the stick of Nicolas Blanchard. Blanchard made no mistake and backhanded it past Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby for the early 1-0 lead.
The Bears pressed in the final minute of the period but Murphy made several good saves, including a point blank stop with his right pad off a redirection.
Less than five minutes into the second period, Charlotte took a 2-0 lead on a great individual effort by Drayson Bowman. Bowman broke into the zone, blew by a defender and was stopped by Holtby, but picked up his own rebound and buried it. The power-play goal came at 4:31 of the second frame.
Midway through the period, Chris Terry made it 3-0 Checkers when he took a drop pass in the slot from Zach Boychuk and ripped a shot over the right shoulder of Holtby.
Murphy was solid once again in the closing minutes of the period and the Checkers went to the room after 40 minutes with a three-goal lead and a 23-13 advantage in shots.
Rodney put the Checkers ahead 4-0, early in the third period, when he took a great pass from Herauf on the left side and fired a wrist shot home on the short-side under the cross-bar.
Rodney then added his third point of the night when he let go a shot that was stopped by Holtby. Dalpe was on the doorstep and converted the rebound for a 5-0 Checkers lead.
The Bears pulled Holtby for an extra attacker but were not able to solve Murphy and the Checkers walked away with the victory.
The Checkers (32-20-2-4) will continue their road trip in Syracuse Tuesday before returning to Charlotte on Thursday to host the Connecticut Whale (formerly Hartford Wolf Pack) at 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit www.gocheckers.com. The first 3,000 fans at Saturday’s game against Connecticut will receive a free Checkers backpack.
NOTES: Mike Murphy has won 15 of his last 17 starts (15-2-0)…Chris Terry has two goals and three assists on a current three-game point streak…Rodney recorded his second three-point game of the season (Nov. 11 – 3a)...Zac Dalpe leads all AHL rookies with 38 points (17g, 21a) in 39 games.
Charlotte Checkers 5 at Hershey Bears 0 - Status: Final
Sunday, February 20, 2011 - Giant Center
Charlotte 1 2 2 - 5
Hershey 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Blanchard 4 (Matsumoto, Rodney), 0:31. Penalties-Wellar Her (interference), 6:33; Terry Cha (tripping), 7:23; Godfrey Her (hooking), 9:51; Bowman Cha (roughing), 10:10; Beagle Her (roughing), 10:10.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Bowman 9 (Dalpe, Murphy), 4:31 (PP). 3, Charlotte, Terry 22 (Boychuk), 11:11. Penalties-Kroll Her (slashing), 2:45; Greentree Her (tripping), 5:16; Herauf Cha (fighting), 8:39; Carroll Her (fighting), 8:39; Herauf Cha (fighting), 15:55; Rome Her (fighting), 15:55; Pistilli Cha (hooking), 19:48; Willsie Her (cross-checking, unsportsmanlike conduct - disputing decision, misconduct - abuse of officials), 20:00.
3rd Period-4, Charlotte, Rodney 7 (Herauf), 6:47. 5, Charlotte, Dalpe 17 (Boychuk, Rodney), 9:25 (PP). Penalties-Terry Cha (tripping), 1:27; Kroll Her (roughing), 7:36; Pinizzotto Her (cross-checking), 8:48; Bouchard Her (tripping), 10:57; Bellemore Cha (hooking), 13:10; FitzGerald Cha (tripping), 15:02; Nash Cha (tripping), 19:22.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 12-11-13-36. Hershey 6-7-7-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 / 8; Hershey 0 / 5.
Goalies-Charlotte, Murphy 17-9-2 (20 shots-20 saves). Hershey, Holtby 13-6-2 (36 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (84), Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Mike McDevitt (13), Bob Goodman (90).