BOYCHUK’S LATE GOAL STINGS MONARCHS
Pogge makes 33 saves, now 11-5-1 on the road
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Zach Boychuk’s goal with less than a minute remaining in the third period broke a tie and the Charlotte Checkers defeated the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2, at Verizon Wireless Arena.
Justin Pogge made 33 saves, including 17 in the first period, to earn his 16th win of the season. Pogge is now 11-5-1 away from Time Warner Cable Arena. Jacob Micflikier and Nicolas Blanchard also scored for the Checkers, who won in regulation for the second time this season when trailing after 40 minutes.
Ray Kaunisto and Bud Holloway were the Monarchs’ goal scorers and Brandon Kozun added two assists, while Martin Jones allowed three goals on 32 shots in the loss.
Micflikier, a former University of New Hampshire standout, gave Charlotte a 1-0 lead by scoring on the first power play of the game at 2:51 of the first period. Jones stopped a Chris Terry slap shot from the point, but couldn’t corral the rebound and Micflikier cashed in for his 23rd marker of the season.
Charlotte held its one-goal lead until 6:35 of the second period, when Kaunisto slid his eighth goal of the season past Pogge off a centering feed from Corey Elkins. Brandon Kozun started the play by spinning loose from a Charlotte defender in the neutral zone and carrying the puck into the Checker zone along the right-wing boards. Kozun then pulled up and dished to Elkins, who made a cross-ice pass to Kaunisto for the goal.
Less than three minutes later, Kozun set up another goal by combining with Manchester’s leading scorer, Holloway, on a two-one one. Holloway scored his 23rd goal of the season by firing a shot just inside the right post while falling to the ice.
Nicolas Blanchard evened the score, 1:58 into the third period. Using a Manchester defenseman as a screen, he fired a wrist shot through Jones’ five-hole from the top of the right-wing circle. The goal was assisted by Bryan Rodney and Oskar Osala, who both registered their 29th helpers of the season on the play.
The teams continued to battle through a closely contested third period until Boychuk notched the game winner with 47 seconds to play. The former first-round pick of the Hurricanes ripped a wrist shot on goal that Jones got a piece of, but trickled over the goal line to clinch a 3-2 Charlotte win.
The Checkers (35-22-2-6) look to build on their win when they return to Charlotte Tuesday for an important East Division showdown against the Binghamton Senators at 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit www.gocheckers.com.
For every ‘like’ the Checkers get on their Facebook page between now and Apr. 1, the team will donate $2 to Zach Bennett and his family, who plan to move to Charlotte for better medical care. Visit www.gocheckers.com for more information or head to www.facebook.com/charlottecheckers.
Notes: Zach Boychuk’s game-winning goal was his 100th professional point…Charlotte is 5-0-0-1 when Nicolas Blanchard scores a goal...Justin Pogge's first save of the third period was his 1,000th of the season. Charlotte is 4-2-0-0 in the third game of three-in-threes and 10-5-0-0 on Sundays.
Charlotte Checkers 3 at Manchester Monarchs 2 - Status: Final
Sunday, March 6, 2011 - Verizon Wireless Arena
Charlotte 1 0 2 - 3
Manchester 0 2 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Micflikier 23 (Terry, Matsumoto), 2:51 (PP). Penalties-Clune Mch (boarding), 2:07; Nash Cha (hooking), 3:54; Sutter Cha (holding), 7:58; Pogge Cha (tripping), 13:02; Boychuk Cha (high-sticking), 15:44.
2nd Period-2, Manchester, Kaunisto 8 (Elkins, Kozun), 6:35. 3, Manchester, Holloway 23 (Kozun, Cliche), 9:31. Penalties-Voynov Mch (interference), 15:33; Osala Cha (boarding), 19:47.
3rd Period-4, Charlotte, Blanchard 6 (Rodney, Osala), 1:58. 5, Charlotte, Boychuk 17 (Bellemore, Nash), 19:13. Penalties-Rodney Cha (hooking), 19:56.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 13-10-9-32. Manchester 17-10-8-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 2; Manchester 0 / 6.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 16-13-3 (35 shots-33 saves). Manchester, Jones 22-9-1 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Jarrod Ragusin (42).
Linesmen-Joe Ross (92), Bob Bernard (42).