DULUTH, GA—The Charlotte Checkers’ win streak stopped at five games as they were defeated, 5-4, by the Gwinnett Gladiators on Saturday night. Ryan Munce returned from a shoulder injury and stopped 55 shots in a losing effort.
The teams traded goals all game long and Daniel Tkaczuk extended his point streak to six games (5g, 7a).
Gwinnett opened the scoring just 10 seconds into the game on a wrap-around by forward Tom Zanoski.
Charlotte would respond just over three minutes later on a power-play goal by Kenny Roche. Roche took a pass from Julien Brouillette at the left faceoff circle and fired a one-time shot past Gladiators goaltender David Brown.
An offensive zone faceoff in the Checkers’ zone with 6.6 seconds left in the first period resulted in an improbable Gwinnett goal. A shot from the point was stopped by Munce but the rebound lay free in the crease and Matt Siddall was there to net his fifth of the season.
The two teams would each score on the power play in the second and Gwinnett would hold a 49-18 shot advantage through two periods of play.
In the third, Mike Taylor beat a sprawling Gladiators netminder for his first of the season before Gwinnett again took the lead on a rebound goal by defenseman Sam Roberts.
Charlotte would press late in the third and tied the game when Randy Rowe skated to the front of the net and tipped a Daniel Tzacuk shot past Brown on the short side.
The teams seemed destined for overtime, however, with 27 seconds to play in the game, Pat Galivan stole the puck on the left wing and wristed a shot over the glove of Munce for the victory.
The Checkers (10-4-2-0) will host Gwinnett on Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Game time is 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com
Notes: The Checkers are 4-2-1 on the road this season…Tkaczuk now has 15 points (5g, 10a) in eight games and is on a six-game point streak (5g, 7a)…Kenny Roche has seven goals in his last six games…Michel Leveille leads the team in scoring with 23 pts (10g, 13a) in 16 games…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)…Trevor Glass remains on the 21-day injured reserve.