FOUR-GOAL FIRST PERIOD HELPS PENS DOUBLE UP CHECKERS
Boychuk adds three points to extend streak to five games
WILKES-BARRE, Pa.- Behind a four-goal first period, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Charlotte Checkers, 6-3, on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
For the first-place Penguins, their seventh win in the season series was their league-leading 54th win of the season and denied the Checkers (41-26-2-7) a chance to clinch a playoff berth.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s offense was paced by four different multi-point scorers, while Bryan Lerg’s shorthanded goal at 17:08 of the first period proved to be the game-winning tally. With 22 saves on 25 shots, Brad Thiessen was the winning goaltender.
The Checkers got two goals from Jacob Micflikier and three assists from Zach Boychuk, but couldn’t climb out of an early hole, despite outshooting the Penguins 13-7 in the third period. Boychuk now has 13 points (5g, 8a) on his current five-game point streak. With 26 saves, Justin Pogge took the loss in goal.
The Penguins came out of the gates strong and took a 1-0 lead when Jason DeSantis scored his first AHL goal of the season at 5:08 of the first period. While on the power play, Veilleux lofted a pass from the right-wing corner that DeSantis stepped into and blasted past Pogge from just inside the blue line.
Four minutes after DeSantis’ game-opening score, rookie Nick Petersen made the score 2-0 Penguins by gaining possession of the puck at center ice, racing in on a breakaway and ripping a shot over Pogge’s glove hand. At 13:27, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went ahead 3-0 when Geoff Walker scored his ninth goal of the season with a wrist shot from the right-wing faceoff dot.
Shortly after falling behind 3-0, Micflikier got Charlotte on the board by scoring his first of two goals on the night. Assisted by Boychuk, Micflikier scored his goal by bursting past a Penguins defenseman along the left-wing boards and snapping a low shot that snuck through Thiessen’s legs.
Lerg, however, restored the Penguins’ three-goal advantage by potting a shorthanded goal at 17:08 of the first period that put the Checkers behind, 4-1, after the opening 20 minutes.
Corey Potter scored a slap-shot goal at 14:15 of the second period to enhance Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to 5-1.
But, the Checkers refused to quit and narrowed the Penguins’ lead to 5-2 when Micflikier scored his second goal of the game at 4:27 of the third period. The goal was scored off a rebound from point-blank range, and both Rodney and Boychuk recorded assists.
Dalpe then brought the Checkers to within two goals by scoring with a high wrist shot with 4:27 left in the third period, but Veilleux scored an empty-net goal with 1:44 left in the third period and the Penguins won 6-3.
The Checkers (41-26-2-7) get another chance to clinch a playoff spot when they play their final road game of the regular season against the Albany Devils tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Notes: Zach Boychuk has five goals and eight assists in the last five games…Jacob Micflikier had his third multi-goal game of the season and has four goals and four assists in the last five games…Bryan Rodney had two assists and now has six helpers in the last six games
Charlotte Checkers 3 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6 - Status: Final
Friday, April 1, 2011 - Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Charlotte 1 0 2 - 3
W-B/Scranton 4 1 1 - 6
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, DeSantis 1 (Petersen, Veilleux), 5:08 (PP). 2, W-B/Scranton, Petersen 2 (Bortuzzo, Craig), 8:44. 3, W-B/Scranton, Walker 9 (Veilleux, Potter), 13:27. 4, Charlotte, Micflikier 26 (Boychuk), 15:03. 5, W-B/Scranton, Lerg 14 (Sill, Bortuzzo), 17:08. Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (tripping), 3:41; Potter Wbs (holding), 16:11.
2nd Period-6, W-B/Scranton, Potter 5 (Marshall, Thompson), 14:15. Penalties-Blanchard Cha (tripping), 0:12; Bortuzzo Wbs (roughing), 7:37; Terry Cha (holding), 9:56; Terry Cha (roughing), 20:00; Sill Wbs (roughing), 20:00.
3rd Period-7, Charlotte, Micflikier 27 (Boychuk, Rodney), 4:27 (PP). 8, Charlotte, Dalpe 22 (Boychuk, Rodney), 15:33. 9, W-B/Scranton, Veilleux 10 18:16 (EN). Penalties-Marshall Wbs (roughing), 3:08.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 7-5-13-25. W-B/Scranton 13-12-7-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 3; W-B/Scranton 1 / 3.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 20-16-4 (31 shots-26 saves). W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 32-7-1 (25 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-Mike McDevitt (13), Scott Adams (20).