THREE UNANSWERED GOALS LIFT BRUINS OVER CHECKERS
Whitfield’s two tallies lead Providence to 4-2 victory
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After falling behind 2-1 in the second period, the Providence Bruins scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Charlotte Checkers, 4-2, at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Trent Whitfield tallied two goals and an assist to earn first-star honors and Anton Khudobin made 25 saves on 27 shots to win in his Bruins debut. Providence avoided a sweep in the season series after Charlotte won the first three games.
Mike Murphy made 25 saves and lost for the first time in more than a month but is 17-3-1 in his last 21 starts. Riley Nash and Zach Boychuk were the goal scorers for Charlotte, who falls to 34-21-2-6 but maintains third place in the East Division.
After successfully killing the game’s first two penalties, the Bruins got on the board on their first power-play attempt. Whitfield's goal at 15:34 of the first period was assisted by Maxime Sauve and David Laliberte.
Providence maintained its 1-0 lead, until the final minute of the first period when Charlotte tied things up. Jacob Micflikier dug the puck out to Nash at the left post, where the Charlotte rookie stuffed his 13th goal of the season past Khudobin.
Boychuk gave Charlotte its first lead by rushing the puck into the Providence zone and snapping a long-range wrist shot past Khudobin’s outstretched leg at 11:17 of the second period.
Whitfield, however, responded just 10 seconds later by sliding a feed from Jordan Smotherman past Murphy for his second of the night.
Providence scored less than two minutes later to take its second lead, when Alain Goulet scored from the right point. Whitfield earned his third point of the night by registering the secondary assist.
Early in the third period, Zack FitzGerald engaged Providence’s Lane MacDermid in a spirited fight in an attempt to change the game’s momentum. But, former Checker Stefan Chaput scored just four seconds later to provide an insurance goal as Providence earned a 4-2 victory.
The Checkers (34-21-2-6) continue their three-game road trip tomorrow night against the Worcester Sharks at DCU Center in Massachusetts. Charlotte will return home on Tuesday, Mar. 8 against the Binghamton Senators. For ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit www.gocheckers.com.
For every ‘like’ the Checkers get on their Facebook page between now and Apr. 1, the team will donate $2 to Zach Bennett and his family, who plan to move to Charlotte for better medical care. Visit www.gocheckers.com for more information or head to www.facebook.com/charlottecheckers.
Notes: The Checkers are 17-10-1-2 on the road this season...Charlotte is 19-6-4 when Mike Murphy starts. Charlotte is 12-7-0-1 against the Atlantic Division…Riley Nash finished the season series against Providence with two goals and five assists in four games.
Charlotte Checkers 2 at Providence Bruins 4 - Status: Final
Friday, March 4, 2011 - Dunkin' Donuts Center
Charlotte 1 1 0 - 2
Providence 1 2 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Providence, Whitfield 6 (Sauve, Laliberte), 15:34 (PP). 2, Charlotte, Nash 13 (Micflikier, Terry), 19:27. Penalties-Donald Pro (interference), 2:19; Laliberte Pro (slashing), 5:43; Herauf Cha (high-sticking), 14:36; MacDermid Pro (roughing), 17:21.
2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Boychuk 16 (Borer, Pistilli), 11:17. 4, Providence, Whitfield 7 (LaVallee-Smotherman), 11:27. 5, Providence, Goulet 1 (Arniel, Whitfield), 13:21 (PP). Penalties-Herauf Cha (hooking), 2:11; Borer Cha (boarding), 12:40; Ling Pro (bench minor - too many men), 14:15; Blanchard Cha (fighting), 17:28; Donald Pro (fighting), 17:28.
3rd Period-6, Providence, Chaput 4 (Cohen, Ling), 2:39. Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (fighting), 2:35; MacDermid Pro (fighting), 2:35; Bodnarchuk Pro (tripping), 7:42; Bodnarchuk Pro (roughing), 10:50.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-5-11-27. Providence 9-10-10-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 6; Providence 2 / 3.
Goalies-Charlotte, Murphy 19-9-3 (29 shots-25 saves). Providence, Khudobin 19-12-1 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Bob Paquette (18), Todd Whittemore (70).