DULUTH, GA—The Charlotte Checkers, down by two late in the second period, scored four unanswered goals and battled their way to a 6-4 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Monday afternoon in Duluth, GA.
Andrew Carroll scored two goals, including the game-winner and added two assists. Carroll now leads the team and ranks tied for third among all ECHL rookies with 18 goals. Leading scorer Tyler Doig notched a goal and two assists while Daniel Tkaczuk and Matt Schepke chipped in with a goal and an assist each.
Special teams were a factor in the game as the Checkers scored three with the man advantage while Gwinnett recorded two short-handed tallies. Charlotte erased three two-goal deficits for the win and has picked up a point in four straight games (3-0-1) versus the Gladiators.
The Gladiators opened the scoring just over four minutes into the game while killing a penalty when Adam Berti, on a two-on-one with Matt Caruana, beat Checkers goaltender Ryan Munce for his 10th of the season.
Gwinnett would then go ahead by two, three minutes later, on another short-handed two-on-one. Scott Marchesi crossed the Checkers blueline and fed a pass to Michael Forney behind the Charlotte defender. Forney made no mistake and slid it home for the 2-0 lead.
The Checkers then made it a one-goal game on the power play, midway through the period, when Carroll banged home a rebound from a Julien Brouillette point shot. The goal came at 11:22 of the first period and Doig also picked up an assist on the play.
Less than two minutes later, Gwinnett took their second two-goal lead of the game when former Checker Jason Lawrence one-timed a shot past Munce on the power play.
Charlotte would add a goal late in the period to cut the Gwinnett lead in half. The Checkers’ top line of Carroll, Doig and Michel Leveille buzzed around the opposing team’s net firing shot after shot at goaltender David Brown before Doig dug the puck free and banged it home.
The Gladiators again went ahead by two, less than a minute into the second period, as Tom Zanoski sent a shot toward the net that deflected off a Charlotte defender’s skate. Munce made the initial save off the deflection and Chris Higgins was on the doorstep to tap home the rebound.
It looked as though Gwinnett would head to the locker room after two periods with a two-goal lead, however the Checkers battled back and scored their first of four straight goals with less than four minutes to play in the frame. Tkaczuk took the puck on the right-wing wall and dished to Schepke in the slot who then fired a wrist shot over the glove of Gwinnett goaltender David Brown.
The third period was all Charlotte as David Marshall and Carroll notched power-play goals four minutes apart. Marshall took the puck out of a scrum and fired it top shelf over a sprawling Brown before Carroll tucked home a rebound off a shot from Doig for his second of the game. The goal would prove to be the game-winner, giving Carroll a team-leading four on the season.
With eight seconds remaining, the Checkers added some insurance when Tkaczuk scored an empty-net goal from a near-impossible angle. Carroll picked up an assist on the goal for a career-high four-point game while Munce stopped 26 of 30 for his second straight win. Leveille and Tkaczuk extended their point streaks to four games.
The Checkers (21-13-5) will host the Wheeling Nailers on Friday night for “Race Night”. Game time is 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com. Fans are encouraged to attend the autograph session with Joey Logano and other drivers beginning at 6 p.m.
Notes: Andrew Carroll has seven goals and six assists in his last eight games and scored a career-high four points (2g, 2a) on Monday…Michel Leveille (2g, 6a) and Daniel Tkaczuk (2g, 4a) are each on four-game point streaks …Tyler Doig ranks fifth in ECHL scoring with 47 points (11g, 36a) while Leveille ranks 10th with 41 points (14g, 27a)…defenseman Julien Brouillette has seven points (3g, 4a) in his last six games and ranks fourth among all ECHL defensemen with 25 points (9g, 16a)…Miika Wiikman has only two regulation losses in 14 games this season (8-2-3)…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 151 penalty minutes, and is second in overall ECHL plus-minus with a +20 rating…The Checkers are 12-3-1 in their last 16 home games…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford (AHL), Kenny Roche is with Providence (AHL) while Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Chris Snavely and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
Charlotte Checkers 6 At Gwinnett Gladiators 4 - Status: Final
Jan 18, 2010 - The Arena at Gwinnett Center
Charlotte 2 1 3 - 6
Gwinnett 3 1 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Gwinnett, Berti 10 (Caruana), 4:09 (sh). 2, Gwinnett, Forney 4 (Marchesi), 7:16 (sh). 3, Charlotte, Carroll 17 (Brouillette, Doig), 11:22 (pp). 4, Gwinnett, Lawrence 9 (Brocklehurst, Miller), 13:10 (pp). 5, Charlotte, Doig 11 (Carroll, Leveille), 18:28. Penalties-Siddall Gwt (slashing ), 2:43; Roberts Gwt (kneeing), 6:06; Taylor Chr (boarding), 8:11; Forney Gwt (hooking), 10:51; Chabot Chr (tripping), 12:06; Carroll Chr (interference), 13:43.
2nd Period-6, Gwinnett, Higgins 5 (Zanoski), 0:50. 7, Charlotte, Schepke 12 (Tkaczuk, Ward), 16:19. Penalties-Zanoski Gwt (roughing), 0:50; Brouillette Chr (hooking), 3:11; Zanoski Gwt (diving), 3:11; Tkaczuk Chr (holding the stick), 11:02; Filangieri Gwt (hooking), 14:08; Schepke Chr (slashing ), 19:06.
3rd Period-8, Charlotte, Marshall 8 (Schepke), 11:54 (pp). 9, Charlotte, Carroll 18 (Doig, Brouillette), 15:54 (pp). 10, Charlotte, Tkaczuk 8 (Carroll), 19:52 (en). Penalties-Brouillette Chr (slashing ), 0:13; Caruana Gwt (tripping), 11:00; Paris Gwt (holding), 15:22; Berube Chr (holding), 16:15.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 13-9-8-30. Gwinnett 8-10-12-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 3 of 7; Gwinnett 1 of 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 7-7-1-0 (30 shots-26 saves). Gwinnett, Brown 6-8-2-0 (29 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Nick Krebsbach (8).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).