CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Checkers were edged, 2-1, on Wednesday evening by the Albany Devils in the team’s first ever trip to New York’s capital since being purchased and relocated to Charlotte over the summer.
Albany forward Michael Swift scored the game winner with less than five minutes to play and goaltender Jeff Frazee was solid, turning away 25 of 26 shots. Chris Terry scored the lone goal for Charlotte and led the way with six shots on goal.
The Checkers came out buzzing and hit Frazee with six shots in the first six minutes but the third-year pro stood his ground.
Terry then got Charlotte on the board at 7:15 of the first period when took a pass from Jiri Tlusty at the right-wing circle and fired a wrist shot over the glove of the Albany netminder.
The lead did not last long, however, as the Devils responded back just 2:37 later. Stephen Gionta broke in alone on Checkers goaltender Justin Pogge and was stopped point blank. He then grabbed his own rebound and put the puck out front to Adam Henrique, who tapped it in for his first ever professional goal.
Pogge was solid in the second, making several impressive saves, including a quick glove save on an Albany 2-on-1.
Charlotte nearly went ahead early in the third when Terry, looking for his second goal of the game, beat Frazee but hit the post.
Albany then took its first lead of the game with 4:23 left in regulation when Nathan Perkovich centered a pass off a defender and onto the stick of Swift. Swift made no mistake and buried his first of the year blocker side on Pogge.
Charlotte went to work on a late power play but was unable to capitalize and the Devils walked away with a 2-1 victory.
The Checkers (1-5-0) will travel to Adirondack to face the Phantoms on Friday evening. Fans can watch or listen to the game by heading to www.ahllive.com beginning at 7:30 p.m. The next home game will be Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. when the Checkers will host the Portland Pirates. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4423 or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: Friday’s opener was the largest crowd in Charlotte hockey history and is the second largest crowd in the AHL this season (12,512)…Jerome Samson has four goals in his last five games and leads the AHL with 36 shots on goal…Jon Matsumoto leads the Checkers with six points (2g, 4a).
Charlotte Checkers 1 at Albany Devils 2 - Status: Final
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - Times Union Center
Charlotte 1 0 0 - 1
Albany 1 0 1 - 2
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Terry 2 (Tlusty, Borer), 7:15. 2, Albany, Henrique 1 (Gionta), 9:52. Penalties-Palmieri Alb (tripping), 2:01; Perkovich Alb (holding), 7:34; Dodge Cha (holding), 13:26; Samson Cha (high-sticking), 18:31.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (slashing), 2:15; Bellemore Cha (fighting), 7:44; Pogge Cha (roughing), 7:44; Swift Alb (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 7:44; Young Alb (high-sticking), 7:44; Fayne Alb (interference), 12:19; Tlusty Cha (slashing), 14:46; FitzGerald Cha (fighting), 16:32; Letourneau-Leblond Alb (fighting), 16:32.
3rd Period-3, Albany, Swift 1 (Perkovich, Young), 15:37. Penalties-Perkovich Alb (cross-checking), 7:52; Pogge Cha (interference), 11:45; McIntyre Alb (tripping), 16:17.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-8-10-26. Albany 10-10-6-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 6; Albany 0 / 5.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 0-3-0 (26 shots-24 saves). Albany, Frazee 2-1-0 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Jim Briggs (83).