PENGUINS BLANK CHECKERS, 1-0, IN MUST WIN
Charlotte leads best-of-7 series 3-2; Game 6 tomorrow in WBS
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Brad Thiessen stopped all 23 shots he faced as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins blanked the Charlotte Checkers, 1-0, in Game 5.
Despite the loss, the Checkers still hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series as the teams head back to Wilkes-Barre for Game 6.
Recording his second shutout of the series, Thiessen bested his counterpart, Mike Murphy, who blanked the Penguins on Wednesday night in another 1-0 affair.
Penguins forward Chris Collins scored the game’s only goal on a deflection, midway through the third period.
Murphy continued his stellar play, turning away all but one of the Penguins’ 33 shots, including some key saves to keep the Checkers in the game.
For the second consecutive game, the teams took a scoreless tie into the third period before Collins scored at 8:54. Lerg took a shot from the point that Collins tipped in front to redirect the puck off of Murphy’s glove and in.
Following the Collins goal, the Checkers had an onslaught of scoring chances, at one point keeping the puck in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone for nearly two minutes. Thiessen, however, made big saves on Bryan Rodney and Brett Sutter to hold on to the one-goal lead.
With 1:04 remaining in regulation, Charlotte pulled Murphy in favor of an extra attacker. Though the Checkers kept the pressure on the Penguins, Thiessen continued his stellar play to keep them off the scoreboard and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton held on for the 1-0 victory.
The Checkers (3-2) head back to Wilkes-Barre for Game 6 tomorrow with an opportunity to clinch a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. Puck drop from Mohegan Sun Arena is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Head to www.AHLLive.com to watch/listen.
Notes: The series is the first in the AHL since 2003 to feature back-to-back 1-0 scores…Three-of-five games in this series have had a shutout…Mike Murphy had a shutout streak of 161:11 between the first period of Game 3 and third period of Game 5…The shutout streak was the longest by a Checkers goaltender this season…The Checkers’ penalty kill is 30-of-30 at home in the playoffs…At 51-of-54, the Checkers penalty-killing is first among AHL teams in the playoffs.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1 at Charlotte Checkers 0 - Status: Final
Friday, May 6, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
W-B/Scranton 0 0 1 - 1
Charlotte 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Herauf Cha (slashing), 5:57; Craig Wbs (high-sticking), 6:28; Thompson Wbs (interference), 11:02.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Strait Wbs (interference), 1:52; Matsumoto Cha (high-sticking), 15:48; Terry Cha (hooking), 17:57; Walker Wbs (charging), 19:31; Borer Cha (tripping), 19:49.
3rd Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Collins 3 (Lerg, Craig), 8:54. Penalties-Rodney Cha (hooking), 6:53; Strait Wbs (boarding), 9:18.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 15-6-12-33. Charlotte 6-3-14-23.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 5; Charlotte 0 / 4.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 6-5-0 (23 shots-23 saves). Charlotte, Murphy 6-3-0 (33 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Ryan Fraser (14), Chris Ciamaga (41).
Linesmen-Mike Sheehan (90), Alex Stagnone (7).