CHECKERS EDGED, 2-1, BY LEAGUE-LEADING PENGUINS
Terry scores again; Charlotte goes 2-2-0 on four-game trip
WILKES-BARRE, Pa.- Brad Thiessen stopped 25 of 26 shots and the league-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins beat the Charlotte Checkers, 2-1, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Terry denied Thiessen his eighth shutout of the season with five seconds left in the third period, but the Penguins lowered their magic number for clinching an East-Division title to eight points, one night after they became the first AHL team to clinch a postseason berth. Nick Peterson and Zack Sill scored the goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Geoff Walker provided two assists
Justin Pogge took the loss for Charlotte, allowing one goal on 12 shots in the final 33:09, after relieving an injured Mike Murphy in the second period.
After a scoreless first period, Peterson scored his first-career AHL goal to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 10:02 of the second period. Sill started the play by preventing a Checkers’ clearing attempt while on his back at the blue line and sliding a pass to Geoff Walker along the left-wing boards from his knees. Walker then passed to the backhand side of Peterson who in one motion, spun around, brought the puck to his forehand, shot and scored.
The duo of Walker and Sill again combined and gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead, 21 seconds into the third period. Walker began the sequence by stealing the puck in the left-wing corner and skated behind the net as if attempting a wrap-around. But instead of taking a shot himself, Walker weeded a pass through the Checkers’ defensive coverage to Sill, who buried his 10th goal of the season into a wide open net.
The league’s top defensive team, the Penguins clamped down in the third period and won 2-1, despite a late Charlotte goal.
The Checkers (38-25-2-6) return home on Tuesday for a tilt at Time Warner Cable Arena against the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 p.m. For ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit 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 and to be closer to the team. Visit www.gocheckers.com or head to www.facebook.com/charlottecheckers.
Notes: The Checkers are 10-6-0-0 on Sundays and 15-6-0-0 in the second half of back-to-back games...Chris Terry has a goal in three of the last four games and ranks third among active players in the AHL with 28 goals.
Charlotte Checkers 1 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 - Status: Final
Sunday, March 20, 2011 - Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Charlotte 0 0 1 - 1
W-B/Scranton 0 1 1 - 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 9:51; Walker Wbs (roughing), 12:51; Matsumoto Cha (tripping), 16:30.
2nd Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Petersen 1 (Walker, Sill), 10:02. Penalties-Boychuk Cha (slashing), 7:30; Boulerice Wbs (interference), 10:49.
3rd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Sill 10 (Walker, Veilleux), 0:21. 3, Charlotte, Terry 28 (Sanguinetti, Rodney), 19:55. Penalties-Blanchard Cha (roughing), 7:45; Boulerice Wbs (roughing), 7:45; Rodney Cha (slashing), 13:08.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-8-10-26. W-B/Scranton 13-8-10-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 2; W-B/Scranton 0 / 4.
Goalies-Charlotte, Murphy 21-11-3 (19 shots-18 saves); Pogge 17-15-3 (12 shots-11 saves). W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 30-7-1 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Judson Ritter (34), Matt MacPherson (94).