LATE GOAL DOOMS CHECKERS IN GOALTENDING DUEL
Holtby earns shutout in Bears’ sixth straight win
HERSHEY, Pa.—A third-period power-play goal by former NHL All-Star Sheldon Souray was the difference as the Hershey Bears edged the Charlotte Checkers, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon.
Hershey netminder Braden Holtby stopped 24 shots as the Bears stopped all 11 Checkers power plays. Justin Pogge did his best to match his counterpart, turning away 21of 22 shots and making a few key saves that kept the game scoreless for 50 minutes.
Following a defensive opening period, both teams came out more aggressive in the second period.
The Checkers had a pair of great opportunities early in the second period. Chris Terry had a chance to bury the puck in an open net with Holtby on the ground but couldn’t elevate the puck over the Hershey netminder.
Jerome Samson had the Checkers’ other scoring chance when he beat the Bears’ final defender and drove the net, where Holtby laid out to negate the forehand attempt.
The Checkers had a prime opportunity to jump ahead early in the third period with a two minute 5-on-3, but the Hershey penalty kill was solid and stymied the chance.
Midway through the third period, Oskar Osala looked to have broken the scoreless tie as he stood in front of an empty net with Holtby out of position. The Checkers forward snapped a shot that went off of the toe of his stick and somehow ended up in Holtby’s pads.
Souray finally broke through for the Bears with a power-play goal at 10:46 of the third period. The NHL veteran did what he does best and fired a slapshot from the top of the right-wing faceoff circle that whizzed by the glove of Pogge.
With less than a minute remaining, Charlotte pulled Pogge in favor of an extra attacker but they couldn’t net the equalizer.
Following the All-Star Break, the Checkers (26-18-5) will return home on Thursday, Feb. 3 to take on the Norfolk Admirals at 7 p.m. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
Bryan Rodney and Jerome Samson will represent Charlotte at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic on Sunday and Monday. Fans can catch all the action at www.AHLLive.com or on the NHL Center Ice package.
NOTES: In the last two games Checkers’ goalies have stopped 53 of 55 shots…Brett Sutter has 5g, 6a in his last 12 games... Zac Dalpe has 14 points (2g, 12a) in his last ten games...Mike Murphy is 7-2-0 in the last nine games he has started.
Charlotte Checkers 0 at Hershey Bears 1 - Status: Final
Saturday, January 29, 2011 - Giant Center
Charlotte 0 0 0 - 0
Hershey 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bouchard Her (tripping), 3:59; Aucoin Her (slashing), 6:28; Osala Cha (hooking), 6:57; Collins Her (interference), 11:52; Osala Cha (holding the stick), 13:00.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Greentree Her (roughing), 1:27; Matsumoto Cha (holding), 1:55; Lacroix Her (interference), 10:52; Holtby Her (delay of game), 12:59; Samson Cha (roughing), 15:23; Sloan Her (holding, roughing), 15:23.
3rd Period-1, Hershey, Souray 3 (Aucoin, Willsie), 10:46 (PP). Penalties-Aucoin Her (double minor - high-sticking), 1:24; Souray Her (cross-checking), 2:49; Samson Cha (tripping), 5:07; Bellemore Cha (roughing), 9:11; Wellar Her (roughing), 9:11; Borer Cha (roughing), 9:40; Greentree Her (tripping), 11:16.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 5-9-10-24. Hershey 5-9-8-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 11; Hershey 1 / 5.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 14-9-2 (22 shots-21 saves). Hershey, Holtby 11-5-2 (24 shots-24 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (44).
Linesmen-Matt MacPherson (94), Bob Goodman (90).