CHARLOTTE, NC—The hottest team in the ECHL, the South Carolina Stingrays, scored two timely goals in the second period and hung on to defeat the Charlotte Checkers, 4-3, on Friday night. With the victory, the Stingrays tied a franchise record of 12 consecutive wins.
Aaron Slattengren, who returned to the lineup after missing the last 19 games with an injury, recorded two assists in a losing cause for the Checkers. South Carolina netminder Todd Ford stopped 36 of 39 shots for the win.
South Carolina would draw first blood on a goal by ECHL rookie scoring leader Nikita Kashirsky. Kashirsky took the puck down low, dragged it across the crease and beat a sprawling Ryan Munce for his team-leading 17th of the season. The goal was assisted by Josh Godfrey and came at the 9:31 mark of the first period.
The Checkers answered with two minutes left in the period on a laser of a shot by rookie Andrew Carroll. Mike Harder gained the zone and dropped the puck back to Carroll who then fired it over the shoulder of Ford for his ninth of the season.
With just under six minutes to play in the second period, the Checkers were assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice and South Carolina went to work on the power play. A shot from the point was redirected on its way toward the net and beat Munce along the ice. The goal was credited to forward Matt Scherer.
The Stingrays then took a two-goal lead just 96 seconds later on a Checkers turnover down low. Dain Prewitt let a shot go and Rob Ricci was there to put home the rebound.
South Carolina would add another before Charlotte cut the score to 4-2, midway through the third. Tyler Doig took a shot from the point and rookie Jean-Philipp Chabot was there to tip it home.
With less than seven minutes to play, the Checkers made it a one-goal game on the power play when Aaron Slattengren took a shot from the right wing and Mike Harder was there to pot the rebound.
Charlotte pressed late in the third but Ford was there to turn aside the remaining 10 shots he faced.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow in South Carolina before returning to Charlotte on Sunday for their fourth meeting in five nights.
The Checkers (14-7-4-0) will once again host the Stingrays 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: Tyler Doig has seven assists in his last seven games…Kenny Roche has five goals and an assist in his last six games, including two game-winners…the Checkers are 7-2-1 in their last nine home games…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 99 penalty minutes and 11 fighting majors and leads the Checkers with a +15 rating…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford, Daniel Tkaczuk is with Syracuse, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Codey Burki and Aaron Slattengren are on the 21-day injured reserve.
South Carolina Stingrays 4 At Charlotte Checkers 3 - Status: Final
Dec 18, 2009 - Time Warner Cable Arena
South Carolina 1 2 1 - 4
Charlotte 1 0 2 - 3
1st Period-1, South Carolina, Kashirsky 17 (Godfrey), 9:31. 2, Charlotte, Carroll 9 (Harder, Slattengren), 18:00. Penalties-Campbell Sc (slashing ), 11:49; Harder Chr (hooking), 19:47.
2nd Period-3, South Carolina, Scherer 7 (Fornataro, Ricci), 14:29 (pp). 4, South Carolina, Ricci 11 (Prewitt), 15:55. Penalties-Taylor Chr (holding), 5:52; Schepke Chr (roughing), 10:16; Kashirsky Sc (hooking), 11:30; Slattengren Chr (bench - too many men), 13:45.
3rd Period-5, South Carolina, Johnson 11 (Campbell), 1:25. 6, Charlotte, Chabot 4 (Doig, Roche), 10:05. 7, Charlotte, Harder 6 (Slattengren, Doig), 13:41 (pp). Penalties-Ricci Sc (hooking), 1:37; Bruess Sc (interference), 6:02; Scherer Sc (fighting - major), 6:02; Berube Chr (instigating, fighting - major), 6:02; Johnson Sc (holding), 12:04; Godfrey Sc (delay of game), 12:43.
Shots on Goal-South Carolina 11-12-2-25. Charlotte 15-5-19-39.
Power Play Opportunities-South Carolina 1 of 4; Charlotte 1 of 5.
Goalies-South Carolina, Ford 14-4-0-1 (39 shots-36 saves). Charlotte, Munce 5-3-1-0 (25 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (11).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).