SECOND-PERIOD CHARGE LEADS ADMIRALS OVER CHECKERS
Road team has won all eight games in season series
Charlotte, N.C.- Second-period goals from Blair Jones and Radko Gudas were the difference as the Norfolk Admirals came from behind to defeat the Charlotte Checkers, 4-2, at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday evening.
The visiting team has now won all eight meetings in the season series with the Checkers holding a 5-0-0 record away from Charlotte and Norfolk taking three in the Queen City.
Dustin Tokarski stopped all 12 shots he faced to earn his first victory over the Checkers this season. He entered the game in favor of an injured Cedrick Desjardins with 5:04 remaining in the second period. Justin Pogge took the loss, making 33 saves.
The game started strong for Charlotte, with Brett Sutter scoring the Checkers’ fastest goal to start a game this season - just 12 seconds into the first period. Zac Dalpe won the game’s opening faceoff and sent the puck to Oskar Osala, who penetrated the Admirals’ zone with a hard-nosed rush to the net. Although Cedrick Desjardins stopped Osala’s initial shot, he wasn’t able to control the rebound and Sutter cashed in his third goal in the last three games.
The score remained 1-0 Charlotte until the 16:06 mark of the first period, when Matt Fornataro tied the game with his 11th goal of the season. Troy Milam drew the primary assist after firing a hard slap shot off Justin Pogge, who then lost sight of the puck. This gave Fornataro the time he needed to stuff the rebound home to make it 1-1.
Charlotte regained its one-goal lead, 2:34 into the second period, when Brett Carson rifled a bullet past Desjardins from the left point off of a faceoff win by Dalpe. Bryan Rodney also earned a helper on Carson’s first goal of the season.
The spunky Admirals, playing for the second time in less than 24 hours, again battled back. Blair Jones rushed the puck into the Charlotte zone and had a centering pass ricochet off of Pogge and into the goal.
The game’s first star, Radko Gudas, put the Admirals ahead for the first time, scoring a power-play goal with 4:39 remaining in the second period. The goal was the first power-play tally for the Admirals this season after Charlotte had stopped the first 31 attempts.
Although the Checkers pressed hard in the third period, they couldn’t seem to get any bounces and were shut down. Jones squashed any hope for a comeback with an empty-net goal with 1:02 to play.
The Checkers (23-15-5) will host the Springfield Falcons on Wednesday and Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
NOTES: Brett Sutter has three goals in the last three games…Chris Terry is the current AHL ironman at 123 straight games after Nick Dodge (201) was sidelined Friday and Sunday…Sutter’s goal, 12 seconds in, was the fastest to start a game by a Checker this season.
Norfolk Admirals 4 at Charlotte Checkers 2 - Status: Final
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Norfolk 1 2 1 - 4
Charlotte 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Sutter 6 (Osala), 0:12. 2, Norfolk, Fornataro 11 (Milam, Gudas), 16:06. Penalties-Harju Nor (hooking), 4:27; Mihalik Nor (roughing), 6:20; Marks Nor (slashing), 8:10; Durno Nor (elbowing), 12:57; Marks Nor (fighting), 13:16; Sutter Cha (fighting), 13:16; Durno Nor (diving), 18:32; FitzGerald Cha (hooking), 18:32.
2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Carson 1 (Rodney, Dalpe), 2:34 (PP). 4, Norfolk, Jones 11 (Szczechura), 4:41. 5, Norfolk, Gudas 2 (Wright, Vernace), 15:21 (PP). Penalties-Milam Nor (hooking), 2:31; Berry Nor (roughing, misconduct), 3:50; Gudas Nor (roughing), 3:50; FitzGerald Cha (roughing, roughing, misconduct), 3:50; Jackson Nor (fighting), 7:47; Osala Cha (fighting), 7:47; Terry Cha (tripping), 7:54; Bellemore Cha (tripping), 13:37; FitzGerald Cha (holding, unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:12.
3rd Period-6, Norfolk, Jones 12 (Vernace, Durno), 18:58 (EN). Penalties-Bellemore Cha (interference), 9:43; Pouliot Nor (interference), 9:47.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 19-9-9-37. Charlotte 16-10-9-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 5; Charlotte 1 / 6.
Goalies-Norfolk, Desjardins 14-6-1 (23 shots-21 saves); Tokarski 8-11-1 (12 shots-12 saves). Charlotte, Pogge 13-9-2 (36 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Jason Rollins (37).
Linesmen-Terry Wicklum (58), Ben Shiley (21).