CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers battled the South Carolina Stingrays once again and came out on top beating the division-leaders, 5-4, in a shootout on Wednesday evening at Time Warner Cable Arena. The victory now gives the Checkers a three-game win streak as they prepare for their first northern road trip of the season.
Andrew Carroll notched a goal and an assist while Miika Wiikman turned aside 27 of 31 shots for the win. Defenseman T.J. Reynolds picked up an assist and now has six points in his last five games.
Just under five minutes into the game, the Stingrays drew first blood as Michael Dubuc took the puck off the faceoff and beat Wiikman low on the blocker side. The goal was unassisted and was Dubuc’s sixth of the season.
The Checkers then went on the attack and threw 17 shots on the South Carolina net before the end of the period. Ex-Checker, and current Stingrays goaltender Parker Van Buskirk, however, turned them all aside helping South Carolina keep the one-goal lead heading to the locker room.
Early in the second, it was all Charlotte as they scored three quick goals in a span of 3:40.
Michel Leveille took a shot at Van Buskirk, collected his own rebound and fired it into the top corner for his 12th of the season. The goal was assisted by Steve Ward and Tyler Doig and came at the 3:27 mark of the period.
Just two minutes later, Carroll, doing an imitation of Leveille on the last goal, let a shot go on Van Buskirk and banged home his own rebound for his 12th of the season. Matt Schepke and Reynolds picked up assists on the play.
The Checkers then took a two-goal lead just over a minute later on a great individual effort by defenseman Julien Brouillette. Brouillette carried the puck down low, cut to the net and tapped a backhand shot past South Carolina’s netminder. Carroll added an assist on the play and the goal came at 7:07 of the second frame.
Charlotte held a 33-19 shot advantage through two periods of play.
South Carolina then cut the Checkers’ lead to one, only 50 seconds into the third period, on a fluky goal by Trent Campbell. Jake Hauswirth took a shot toward the Charlotte net and the puck bounced off a Checkers defender onto the stick of Campbell who beat a sprawling Wiikman for his eighth of the year.
The Stingrays would tie the game midway through the third on a turnover down low in the Checkers’ end. Matt Scherer took a pass from Rob Ricci and made no mistake, firing it home and setting the stage for an interesting final eight minutes.
With less than two minutes to play, Checkers forward Aaron Slattengren broke the tie as he circled the South Carolina net and took a backhand shot from a near-impossible angle that beat Van Buskirk between the legs.
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Dylan Yeo took a shot through traffic that made its way to the back of the Charlotte net. The goal came with 41 seconds to play in the game and the teams headed to overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the Zamboni cleaned the surface and paved the way for a shootout. After four rounds of shooters, Andrew Carroll had a chance to seal the win for the Checkers and made no mistake as he faked Van Buskirk and beat him with a wrist shot on the blocker side.
Notes: Ryan Munce (.922) ranks 2nd in save percentage among all ECHL goaltenders…Tyler Doig ranks 5th in ECHL scoring with 38 points (9g, 29a)… Miika Wiikman has only one regulation loss in 11 games this season (7-1-2)…T.J. Reynolds has six points in his last five games, leads all ECHL defensemen with 137 penalty minutes, and is second in overall ECHL plus-minus with a +20 rating…The Checkers are 10-3-1 in their last 14 home games…Charlotte has only one regulation loss in 17 tries when scoring first (12-1-4)…Derek Couture and Daniel Tkaczuk are on loan to Hartford (AHL) while Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL)…Trevor Glass and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
South Carolina Stingrays 4 At Charlotte Checkers 5 (SO) - Status: Final SO
Jan 6, 2010 - Time Warner Cable Arena
South Carolina 1 0 3 0 - 4
Charlotte 0 3 1 0 - 5
1st Period-1, South Carolina, Dubuc 6 4:55. Penalties-Cascalenda Sc (interference), 2:33.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Leveille 12 (Ward, Doig), 3:27. 3, Charlotte, Carroll 12 (Schepke, Reynolds), 5:32. 4, Charlotte, Brouillette 6 (Carroll), 7:07. Penalties-Brouillette Chr (cross-checking), 12:56.
3rd Period-5, South Carolina, Campbell 8 (Hauswirth, Kiser), 0:50. 6, South Carolina, Scherer 10 (Ricci, Farrell), 12:33. 7, Charlotte, Slattengren 3 (Doig), 18:13. 8, South Carolina, Yeo 6 19:39. Penalties-Bruess Sc (hooking), 2:09; Brouillette Chr (hooking), 6:36.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - South Carolina 3 (Johnson G, Campbell NG, Dubuc G, Ricci NG, Yeo G), Charlotte 4 (Slattengren G, Leveille NG, Marshall G, Burki G, Carroll G).
Shots on Goal-South Carolina 8-10-10-3-0-31. Charlotte 17-16-13-4-1-51.
Power Play Opportunities-South Carolina 0 of 2; Charlotte 0 of 2.
Goalies-South Carolina, Van Buskirk 5-8-1-1 (50 shots-46 saves). Charlotte, Wiikman 7-1-1-1 (31 shots-27 saves).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).