Hoping to avenge a disappointing loss to Texas less than a week earlier, the Checkers only encountered more frustration.
Tyler Beskorowany made 29 saves to become the second goalie to shut out the Checkers this season as his team took a 3-0 victory on Friday night. The result was the Texas’ second consecutive win over Charlotte, as the Stars left the Queen City with a 4-2 victory this past Saturday.
Including the first-ever meeting between the two teams that took place last Wednesday, the Stars have now taken two out of three games from the Checkers, who have now lost consecutive games in regulation for just the second time this season.
The Stars, who improved their record to 10-11-1, broke open a close game with two goals just 1:44 apart in the second period, which had been the Checkers’ strongest period to date. With the Stars already leading 1-0, rookie Matt Fraser scored his team-leading 11th goal of the campaign on a clear breakaway before defenseman Hubert Labrie found the back of the net for the first time this season with a sharp-angle shot that beat Charlotte’s Justin Peters through traffic.
Peters, the AHL’s reigning Goalie of the Month, finished the night with 22 saves.
The Checkers had opportunities to get back into the game on the power play, but went 0-5 on the night, continuing a recent drought that has seen them convert just three of their last 34 opportunities (8.8 percent). They also allowed a shorthanded goal for the third time in their last four games, with the Stars’ Colton Scevoiur converting a pass from Francis Wathier as the two players got behind Charlotte’s defense.
On the flip side, Charlotte was able to keep the Stars’ power play, which entered the game ranked third in the AHL at 24.8 percent, scoreless in six opportunities.
When the Checkers did show signs of generating offense, Beskorowany, a rookie who had one previous shutout under his belt from limited duty last season, was there to provide a response. Most notably, he poked the puck away from Charlotte’s Chris Terry on a partial breakaway in the third period before snaring Mathieu Roy’s follow-up attempt in his glove while sprawled on his stomach.
Beskorowany, who began the season as the Stars’ backup but had been pressed into regular duty to starter Richard Bachman’s NHL recall, entered the game with a 3.02 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.
The game featured a physical tone that began right from the outset – Checkers captain Brett Sutter engaged Brendon Dillon in a fight just 1:45 into the first period – and continued until the final minute when Terry and Raymond Sawada were called for coincidental roughing minors. In total, 22 penalties were called, with Charlotte’s Nicolas Blanchard also dropping the gloves soon after Labrie’s goal.
The loss was the first of a two-game road trip for the Checkers that will also take them through San Antonio on Sunday. The Checkers will return home to play four more home games in December, all of which take place prior to a 10-day holiday break that begins on the 21st.
Oklahoma City’s Yann Danis was the other goalie to shut out the Checkers this season, making 30 saves in a 1-0 win on Nov. 11 … In addition to allowing three shorthanded goals, the Checkers have also scored two during their last four games … Zac Dalpe took a game-high seven shots on goal … Checkers defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti missed his 10th consecutive game due to injury, but is likely to return on Sunday … Forward Jared Staal was the healthy scratch for Charlotte.