Photo credit: John Wright
NORFOLK, Va. – Drayson Bowman scored his fourth of the season, just 25 seconds into overtime, as the Charlotte Checkers defeated the Norfolk Admirals, 4-3, on Thursday to sweep a two-game set.
The Checkers are now 9-1-0 in their last 10 road games and pull within two points of Norfolk for second in the East Division. Charlotte’s top-ranked penalty kill went 4-for-4 and has thwarted 25 straight Admirals power-play attempts.
Justin Pogge made 33 saves for his seventh straight road victory and improved to 10-6-1 on the season, while Dustin Tokarski stopped 24 of 28 in a losing effort for Norfolk.
The Checkers opened the scoring on Casey Borer’s second goal of the season. A defensive breakdown by the Admirals led to the puck being chipped out to Borer, who streaked in from the point and flipped the puck past a sprawling Tokarski and into the empty cage. The goal came at 4:22 of the first period and was assisted by Zac Dalpe and Brett Carson.
Charlotte would make it 2-0, nine minutes later on a tic-tac-toe play by Bryan Rodney, Jerome Samson and Chris Terry. Rodney kept the puck alive at the blue line and fired a pass cross-corner to Samson on the right side. Samson took the puck and quickly fed it to Terry, who was parked at the left post and banged it home.
With 32 seconds to go in the period, Norfolk scored two quick goals, 16 seconds apart, to tie the game at 2-2. Mike Angelidis picked up a rebound behind the net and scored on a wrap-aroound before Chris Durno redirected a shot past Pogge on the very next play.
Both netminders were solid in the second period. Pogge made an exceptional pad stop on Admirals leading scorer Marc-Antoine Pouliot, who sprung out of the penalty box and broke in alone.
Early in the third period, Norfolk defenseman Radko Gudas was handed a five-minute major penalty for boarding on Chris Terry, who did not return to the game. The Checkers, however, were unable to capitalize on the power play and the game remained tied, 2-2.
Angelidis, a former Albany River Rat and ex-teammate of many Checkers, made it 3-2 when he took pass from Durno and beat Pogge for his second of the game.
Then, with less than six minutes to play in the game, Checkers forward Nick Dodge made a great play to negate an icing call. The puck made its way to Jon Matsumoto, who shovelled the puck under the arm of Tokarski for his fourth goal in as many games, knotting the game at 3-3 and forcing overtime.
Just 25 seconds into overtime, Bowman blew by a Norfolk defenseman, skated in on a partial break and beat Tokarski blocker side with a wrist shot for the 4-3 victory.
The Checkers (19-10-4) will host the Binghamton Senators on Saturday, Jan. 1. The first 3,000 fans through the door will receive a Checkers winter hat. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for ticket information.
NOTES: The Checkers are 9-1-0 in their last 10 road games and 4-0-0 in Norfolk this season...Justin Pogge has seven straight road wins and is 10-2-1 in his last 13 games...Jacob Micflikier has 12 points (6g, 6a) in the last 10 games...Charlotte ranks first in the AHL in penalty killing (87.9%)
Charlotte Checkers 4 (OT) at Norfolk Admirals 3 - Status: Final OT
Thursday, December 30, 2010 - Norfolk Scope
Charlotte 2 0 1 1 - 4
Norfolk 2 0 1 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Borer 2 (Dalpe, Carson), 4:22. 2, Charlotte, Terry 14 (Samson, Rodney), 13:02. 3, Norfolk, Angelidis 10 (Durno, Wright), 19:27. 4, Norfolk, Durno 10 (Labrie, Angelidis), 19:43. Penalties-Vernace Nor (tripping), 7:13; Osala Cha (cross-checking), 13:52; Micflikier Cha (cross-checking), 16:45.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Pouliot Nor (holding), 4:28.
3rd Period-5, Norfolk, Angelidis 11 (Durno, Labrie), 9:25. 6, Charlotte, Matsumoto 9 (Dalpe, Micflikier), 14:22 (PP). Penalties-Gudas Nor (major - boarding, game misconduct - boarding), 0:32; FitzGerald Cha (slashing), 6:58; Milam Nor (hooking), 12:36; Herauf Cha (elbowing), 15:05; Pogge Cha (roughing, misconduct), 16:45; Jones Nor (goaltender interference), 16:45.
OT Period-7, Charlotte, Bowman 4 (Carson), 0:25. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 6-11-10-1-28. Norfolk 16-11-9-0-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 4; Norfolk 0 / 4.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 10-6-1 (36 shots-33 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 6-8-1 (28 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Steve Patafie (85), Jean Hebert (43).
Linesmen-Tom George (61), Scott Pomento (25).