CHECKERS BLANKED, 3-0, BY PENGUINS IN GAME 2
Series tied 1-1; Game 3 is Monday in Charlotte
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Aided by 34-save shutout from Brad Thiessen, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins blanked the Charlotte Checkers, 3-0, in Game 2 of the East Division Finals.
It was the first time the Checkers were held to less than two goals in the playoffs.
With the win, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton evens the best-of-seven series, 1-1, with the next three games scheduled to be played at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
For Thiessen, it was his first shutout of the playoffs after he finished the regular season ranked second in the AHL with seven. Brett Sterling and Chris Collins were the goal scorers for the Penguins.
Mike Murphy made 28 saves on 30 shots for the Checkers and took his first road loss of the playoffs (2-1). Murphy’s overall postseason record now stands at 4-2.
Sterling opened the scoring at 15:17 of the second period after a goaltending duel that lasted more than 35 minutes. Former ECHL Checker Corey Potter fired a shot from the point which bounced off a Checkers defenseman and into the slot. Sterling picked up the loose puck and beat Murphy through a screen.
Just 2:22 into the third period, Collins made it a 2-0 game when he used Ryan Craig as a screen and ripped a shot low blocker-side past Murphy.
The Checkers mustered 34 shots and were given seven power-play opportunities on the night, but were unable to break through against the league’s top-ranked defensive unit.
Craig then iced the game with an empty-net goal with 43 seconds to play and the Penguins won, 3-0.
After a day off on Sunday, the Checkers and Penguins resume the East Division Finals at Time Warner Cable Arena for Game 3 on Monday night at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Zach Boychuk’s league-high seven-game point streak (3g, 5a) was snapped…Zac Dalpe leads all Checkers and is tied for first in AHL rookie playoff scoring with nine points (4g, 5a)…The Checkers are 2-0 in Games 1 and 0-2 in Games 2 in the playoffs…After combining to go 4-of-14 on the power play in Game 1, the Checkers and Penguins went 0-of-12 on Saturday night…Charlotte has killed 36-of-39 power plays in the playoffs (92.3%).
Charlotte Checkers 0 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 – Status: Final
Saturday, April 30, 2011 - Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Charlotte 0 0 0 - 0
W-B/Scranton 0 1 2 - 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Osala Cha (cross-checking), 2:18; Collins Wbs (tripping), 2:46; Veilleux Wbs (boarding), 8:44; Craig Wbs (tripping), 10:48; Bellemore Cha (roughing), 13:42; Dalpe Cha (roughing), 13:42; FitzGerald Cha (roughing, roughing), 13:42; Craig Wbs (roughing), 13:42; Veilleux Wbs (roughing, roughing), 13:42; Sterling Wbs (cross-checking), 15:12.
2nd Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Sterling 2 (Potter, Thompson), 15:17. Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 2:06; Osala Cha (roughing), 10:47; Mormina Wbs (roughing), 10:47; Collins Wbs (holding), 11:37; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 18:27; Veilleux Wbs (roughing), 18:27; Bortuzzo Wbs (interference), 19:10.
3rd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Collins 1 (Veilleux, Craig), 2:22. 3, W-B/Scranton, Craig 2 (Vitale, Strait), 19:17 (EN). Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 4:52; Micflikier Cha (roughing), 7:36; Mormina Wbs (slashing), 9:35.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 16-10-8-34. W-B/Scranton 12-9-10-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 7; W-B/Scranton 0 / 5.
Goalies-Charlotte, Murphy 4-1-0 (30 shots-28 saves). W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 4-3-0 (34 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Marcus Vinnerborg (45), Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-Bob Fyrer (72), Chris Allman (11).