CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers fell behind by two goals in the third period and battled back with a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Checkers have now won six straight games at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Tyler Doig registered a Gordie Howe hat trick – two goals, an assist and a fighting major – and scored the game-winning goal on a penalty shot in overtime. Charlotte played short-handed with only four defensemen after team captain Jared Nightingale and rookie blueliner Mike Berube were called up to Hartford prior to the game.
Gwinnett drew first blood just over four minutes into the game on a goal by winger Pat Galivan. Gladiators leading scorer Tom Zanoski fed Galivan in the slot who then backhanded a shot past Munce for his ninth of the season.
The Checkers would respond back early in the second period on the power play. Tyler Doig took a pass from Michel Leveille at the point and let go a wrist shot through traffic that beat Gladiators goaltender David Brown. The goal came at the 3:38 mark of the period.
Just one minute and four seconds later, Gwinnett regained the lead on a Checkers turnover in the defensive end. Matt Francis grabbed the puck, took a shot on net and Chad Denny was there to stuff home the rebound.
Charlotte kept coming, however, and tied the game with 32 seconds to play in the second period. Defenseman Chris Snavely took a pass from Jean-Philipp Chabot in the slot and beat Brown with a wrist shot for his first of the season.
In the third period, Gwinnett put their league-leading power play to work and regained the lead on a goal by Matt Siddall. The Gladiators then added another by leading scorer Tom Zanoski to bring the score to 4-2.
The Checkers would not give up and scored a power-play goal with less than five minutes to play to bring them to within one. Randy Rowe took the puck in the slot and fired a shot under the cross-bar for his third in as many games since returning from injury.
With time winding down, Charlotte pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker and it paid off as David Marshall scored the tying goal with 12 seconds to play.
In overtime, T.J. Reynolds made a beautiful pass to Doig who skated in alone on the Gwinnett goaltender but was hauled down. Doig was awarded a penalty shot and made good use of it as he faked a slap shot, fooling the netminder, and tucked it home for the victory.
The Checkers (11-4-2-0) will host Gwinnett on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Game time is 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com
Notes: The Checkers have won six straight games at home…Charlotte has scored 41 goals in its last seven games (5.85 goals per game)…Tyler Doig has 16 points (4g, 12a) in his last nine games…Kenny Roche has seven goals in his last seven games…Randy Rowe has seven points (3g, 4a) in three games since beginning the season on injured reserve…Michel Leveille leads the team in scoring with 25 pts (10g, 15a) in 17 games…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 72 penalty minutes and eight fighting majors…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.