CHECKERS SCORE THREE IN THIRD, HANG ON FOR 5-4 WIN
Terry scores 30th, 31st; Magic number for playoffs now four points
PORTLAND, ME-The Charlotte Checkers scored three goals in the opening 6:29 of the third period and hung on to beat the Portland Pirates, 5-4, at Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday evening.
The win was the 40th on the season for the Checkers and the third when trailing after two periods. The Pirates, meanwhile, fell out of first place in the Atlantic Division and dropped to 43-20-6-2.
Charlotte’s largest road offensive output since Feb. 20 was spearheaded by multi-point efforts by Zach Boychuk, Jacob Micflikier, Chris Terry and Bryan Rodney. With 32 saves, Justin Pogge was the winning goalie and improved to 19-16-4.
David Leggio allowed five goals on 40 shots and lost for just the third time in his last 15 starts, while the Pirates’ league leading offense was fueled by two goals from Jacob Lagace.
Lagace scored his first goal of the night by deflecting a cross-crease pass from Brian Roloff into the lower corner of the net, just 2:16 into the first period.
Five minutes later, the Checkers responded when Cedric McNicoll scored a power-play goal at the 7:56 mark of the first period. Zac Dalpe earned the only assist by snapping a wrist shot from the blue line that McNicoll got a stick on and deflected past Leggio.
Charlotte took its first lead, 9:37 later, when Terry scored a shorthanded goal off a pass from Brett Sutter. The lead lasted only 2:53, however, as Mark Voakes scored with 19 seconds left in the first period to tie the score, 2-2, after 20 minutes.
The score remained tied until former NHL All-Star and United States Olympian, Mark Parrish, put the Pirates ahead by scoring a power-play goal with 2:17 remaining in the second period.
However, the Checkers stormed out of the gate in the third period and pulled even when Micflikier scored on a wrap-around, during four-on-four play, after receiving a pass by Sanguinetti from the right point.
Just 1:25 after Micflikier’s goal, the Checkers went ahead when Terry scored a power-play goal by one-timing a pass from Rodney. Boychuk then made the score 5-3 by scoring the Checkers’ third goal in 3:39. Boychuk ripped a shot past Leggio’s blocker from the slot, off a pass from Micflikier from behind the net.
The resilient Pirates didn’t quit and narrowed Charlotte’s lead to 5-4, with less than four minutes to play, but the Checkers held on for a 5-4 win.
The Checkers (40-25-2-7) return from their two-game road trip tomorrow and host the Norfolk Admirals at 5 p.m. for Pooch Party. For more information, please 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 and to be closer to the team. Visit www.gocheckers.com or head to www.facebook.com/charlottecheckers.
Notes: Chris Terry became the first Checker to reach the 30-goal mark and notched his third two-goal game of the season…Bryan Rodney has one goal and five assists in the last six games…Jacob Micflikier has two goals and three assists in the last three games…Bobby Sanguinetti has two assists in the last four games…Charlotte improved to 8-0-0-1 when scoring a shorthanded goal
Charlotte Checkers 5 at Portland Pirates 4 - Status: Final
Saturday, March 26, 2011 - Cumberland County Civic Center
Charlotte 2 0 3 - 5
Portland 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Portland, Lagace 8 (Roloff, Whitmore), 2:16. 2, Charlotte, McNicoll 3 (Dalpe, Boychuk), 7:11 (PP). 3, Charlotte, Terry 30 (Sutter, Rodney), 16:48. 4, Portland, Voakes 6 (Lagace, Gongalsky), 19:41. Penalties-Parrish Por (double minor - high-sticking), 6:50; Boychuk Cha (boarding), 11:01; served by McCauley Por (bench minor - too many men), 13:22; Blanchard Cha (holding), 16:06.
2nd Period-5, Portland, Parrish 15 (Whitmore), 17:43 (PP). Penalties-Sutter Cha (slashing), 16:36; Sutter Cha (misconduct - abuse of officials), 17:43.
3rd Period-6, Charlotte, Micflikier 25 (Sanguinetti), 2:50. 7, Charlotte, Terry 31 (Rodney, Boychuk), 4:15 (PP). 8, Charlotte, Boychuk 21 (Micflikier), 6:29. 9, Portland, Lagace 9 (Roloff, Gragnani), 16:01. Penalties-Herauf Cha (roughing), 2:38; Tuzzolino Por (roughing), 2:38; Parrish Por (hooking), 3:27; Pistilli Cha (fighting), 14:10; Tuzzolino Por (fighting), 14:10.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-12-17-40. Portland 11-17-8-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 / 4; Portland 1 / 3.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 18-16-4 (36 shots-32 saves). Portland, Leggio 21-6-0 (40 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Landon Bathe (80), Joe Andrews (32).