CHECKERS ROUT SHARKS TO END REGULAR SEASON
11,121 on hand to witness 6-2 win; Playoffs begin Thursday in Hershey
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Charlotte Checkers had six goals from six different scorers and downed the Worcester Sharks, 6-2, in front of 11,121 fans on Saturday evening.
Zac Dalpe recorded the game-winning goal for the Checkers, who also had goals from Michal Jordan, Brett Sutter, Brad Herauf, Matthew Pistilli and Chris Terry. Bobby Goepfert made 23 saves for the win in his first AHL start of the season. Jamie McGinn and Matt Irwin recorded the tallies for Worcester in a losing effort.
The Checkers got on the board first, at 16:49 of the first period, on a power-play goal by Jordan. The rookie defenseman took a wrist shot from the point that redirected off of a Sharks’ player in front to beat goaltender Carter Hutton.
Charlotte took a 2-0 lead, at 6:25 of the second, with a goal by Sutter. The Calgary native battled through the defense and got his body on a rebound to force the puck into the back of the net.
Dalpe then gave the Checkers a three-goal advantage, midway through the second period. From the right-wing faceoff dot, the rookie center ripped a perfectly placed shot into a small window between Hutton and the crossbar.
McGinn scored late in the second period to cut the Charlotte lead to 3-1. The Shark winger accepted a pass from Patrick Davis and snapped a wrist shot over the glove of Goepfert.
The Checkers answered back with 16 seconds remaining in the second, on a tally by Herauf to make it 4-1. Jared Staal won the race to the puck behind the net and sent a backhanded feed out front to Herauf, who beat Hutton through the five hole.
Worcester closed to within two with a mid-third period goal by Irwin. Charlotte, however, tacked on a pair of late goals by Pistilli and Terry to bring the Checkers’ total to six while Goepfert shut the door to hold on for the victory.
The Checkers (44-27-2-7) will open up the 2011 Calder Cup playoffs on Thursday, Apr. 14, when they take on the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center for games 1 and 2. Charlotte will return to Time Warner Cable Arena for games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) beginning on Tuesday, Apr. 19.
Checkers playoff tickets for the opening round against Hershey are now on sale. For playoff ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit www.gocheckers.com.
NOTES: Rasmus Rissanen played in his first professional game tonight…The Checkers have scored 12 power-play goals in the last seven games…Chris Terry has nine goals in the last 13 games… Zach Boychuk has 16 points (5g, 11a) in the last nine games…Cedric McNicoll has nine points (4g, 5a) in nine games since being called up on Mar. 22.
The schedule for the 2011 East Division Semi-Finals is as follows:
Game 1: Thursday, April 14 at Hershey, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 17 at Hershey, 5 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 19 at Charlotte, 7 p.m. –Time Warner Cable Arena.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 20 at Charlotte, 7 p.m. –Time Warner Cable Arena.
*Game 5: Friday, April 22 at Charlotte, 7 p.m. –Time Warner Cable Arena.
*Game 6: Sunday, April 24 at Hershey, 5 p.m.
*Game 7: Monday, April 25 at Hershey, 7 p.m.
Worcester Sharks 2 at Charlotte Checkers 6 - Status: Final
Saturday, April 9, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Worcester 0 1 1 - 2
Charlotte 1 3 2 - 6
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Jordan 4 (McNicoll, Graham), 16:49 (PP). Penalties-Boychuk Cha (slashing), 4:11; Petrecki Wor (slashing), 15:27.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Sutter 9 (Dalpe), 6:25. 3, Charlotte, Dalpe 23 (Sutter, Boychuk), 10:13. 4, Worcester, McGinn 9 (Davis, Quirk), 18:34. 5, Charlotte, Herauf 4 (Staal, Sanguinetti), 19:44. Penalties-Borer Cha (interference), 11:10; Petrecki Wor (slashing), 13:48.
3rd Period-6, Worcester, Quirk 4 (Irwin, Henderson), 10:56. 7, Charlotte, Pistilli 8 (Nash, Borer), 13:38. 8, Charlotte, Terry 34 (Borer), 15:36 (SH). Penalties-Matsumoto Cha (hooking), 14:17.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 13-3-9-25. Charlotte 12-8-14-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Charlotte 1 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Hutton 11-7-2 (34 shots-28 saves). Charlotte, Goepfert 1-0-0 (25 shots-23 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (44).
Linesmen-Paul Carnathan (93), Terry Wicklum (58).