Charlotte allowed a franchise-record five power-play goals en route to a convincing 7-3 loss in Rockford, causing them to finish the season with three straight losses. Victor Rask, Ryan Murphy and Brody Sutter scored for the Checkers, who got 30 saves from John Muse and finished the month of April with just one victory in seven games.
The game had no impact on the standings for either team, as both were eliminated by way of their own regulation losses and a point earned by Oklahoma City on Friday. Along with the 5-1 loss in Milwaukee that officially ended their playoff hopes, opposing teams out-scored Charlotte 12-4 on the final road trip.
The game was actually tied 2-2 after one period, with the teams trading goals after Rockford’s Ryan Hartman opened the scoring after just three and a half minutes. Both of the Checkers’ goals came on the power play courtesy of Rask, who fooled goalie Kent Simpson with an innocent-looking wrist shot off the rush, and Murphy, who snuck in the point and fired home a nice feed from Justin Shugg, on either side of a man-advantage goal by Brian Connelly.
Rockford’s rout took off early in the second period when they scored twice on a double minor for high sticking committed by Checkers rookie Phil Di Giuseppe. After a rare even-strength goal 50 seconds into the third period made it 5-2, Brandon Mashinter and Pat Mullane made Charlotte defenseman Matt Corrente pay for minor penalties taken two minutes apart.
The IceHogs’ five power-play goals tied the most by any AHL team this season. The feat was accomplished a total of five times, including once by Charlotte in a 9-3 win over Oklahoma City, the team that just eliminated them from the postseason, on Jan. 24.
Sutter scored a consolation goal for the Checkers with 7:17 remaining on assists from Murphy, who finished the weekend with three points (2g, 1a) in two games, and Di Giuseppe, who recorded his first professional point.