CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Justin Pogge stopped 34 shots and the Charlotte Checkers scored the game’s first three goals as they defeated the visiting Binghamton Senators, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon.
Pogge now has four straight wins and is 11-2-1 over his last 14 decisions. Oskar Osala led the way offensively with a goal and two assists, while Jon Matsumoto added a goal and an assist. With the win, the Checkers pull in to a temporary tie with Norfolk, who plays Hershey today, for second place in the East Division.
Charlotte opened the scoring on Jerome Samson’s team-leading 18th goal of the season. Jon Matsumoto gained the zone and had his pass deflected into the air by a Binghamton defender. Samson gloved the puck down and chipped it in over the blocker of Senators goaltender Barry Brust for the 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period, the Checkers jumped ahead, 2-0, on a goal by Osala. Matthew Pistilli dodged two checks in the corner and threaded a pass onto the stick of Osala, who redirected the puck over the glove of Brust.
The Senators, eager to get on the board, thought they had a goal midway through the period. Forward Erik Condra dumped the puck in the zone and it bounced off a stanchion and into the net but was disallowed due to an offsides call.
Binghamton kept coming, but Pogge made many impressive saves to keep his team ahead by two. The Checkers netminder made a toe save on Ryan Keller before two impressive glove saves on Condra and Colin Greening to close out the second period.
Charlotte began the third period on the power play and made the most of its opportunity. Ethan Graham fired a shot off the boards that bounced into the slot and Matsumoto one-timed the puck short side off the post and in. The goal was Matsumoto’s 10th of the season and proved to be the game winner.
The Senators scored two quick goals in the third period to make it 3-2. Andre Benoit tipped home a pass from the point by leading scorer Corey Locke before Ryan Keller beat Pogge for his 11th of the season.
The Checkers wanted nothing to do with a Binghamton comeback, however, and put the game away with less than seven minutes to play. Chris Terry raced for the puck in the corner, absorbed a check from Mike Hoffman and threw it on net and the puck somehow found its way in past Brust.
The Senators were awarded a penalty shot in the final minute for a Charlotte defender closing his hand on the puck in the crease but Pogge stopped the opportunity and earned his 11th win of the season.
The Checkers (20-11-4) will host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
NOTES: Zac Dalpe scored his first NHL goal for Carolina last night in a 6-3 win over New Jersey… Jacob Micflikier has nine points (4g, 5a) in his last eight games…Jon Matsumoto has nine points (5g, 4a) in his last eight games...Justin Pogge has four straight wins and is 11-2-1 in his last 14 decisions.
Binghamton Senators 2 at Charlotte Checkers 4 - Status: Final
Sunday, January 2, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Binghamton 0 0 2 - 2
Charlotte 1 1 2 - 4
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Samson 18 (Matsumoto, Bowman), 13:07. Penalties-Micflikier Cha (interference), 18:56.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Osala 8 (Pistilli, Nash), 2:06. Penalties-Pogge Cha (slashing), 5:57; Keller Bng (interference), 6:50; Osala Cha (high-sticking), 7:17; Condra Bng (tripping), 12:00; Pogge Cha (roughing), 16:42; O'Brien Bng (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:55.
3rd Period-3, Charlotte, Matsumoto 10 (Graham, Osala), 2:15 (PP). 4, Binghamton, Benoit 3 (Locke, Hoffman), 5:49 (PP). 5, Binghamton, Keller 11 (Greening), 9:07. 6, Charlotte, Terry 15 (Micflikier, Osala), 13:13. Penalties-Wick Bng (tripping), 0:39; Bailey Bng (fighting), 3:38; Herauf Cha (fighting), 3:38; Micflikier Cha (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:33.
Shots on Goal-Binghamton 12-8-16-36. Charlotte 11-6-10-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 1 / 5; Charlotte 1 / 3.
Goalies-Binghamton, Brust 12-12-1 (27 shots-23 saves). Charlotte, Pogge 11-6-1 (36 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Mark Hamlett (81), Paul Carnathan (93).