CHARLOTTE, NC—There seems to be no shortage of goals by the Charlotte Checkers lately as they added another six and downed the Johnstown Chiefs, 6-2, on Saturday in front of a packed house at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Frank Doyle stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win and the line of Michel Leveille, Tyler Doig and Kenny Roche combined for another eight points. The Checkers got goals three different ways – three on the power play, two at even strength and one shorthanded. The Checkers have now scored 26 goals in their last four games.
For the ninth time in 14 games this season, Charlotte drew first blood. Matt Schepke, fresh off a three-goal performance last night, carried the puck around a Johnstown defender and slid it through the crease to Devin DiDiomete who tucked it home for his second of the season.
The Checkers would make it a 2-0 game later in the period on a great shorthanded effort by Julien Brouillette and Daniel Tkaczuk. Brouillette, from the Checkers’ end, banked a pass off the glass right onto the stick of Tkaczuk who then came in alone, deked and backhanded a shot off the far post past Chiefs netminder Kris Mayotte. The goal came at the 12:34 mark of the first period.
Just over 13 minutes into the second period, Charlotte increased their lead to three on a power-play goal by Doig. Doig received a pass in the corner from Leveille and circled in front before letting a shot go that beat Mayotte between the legs.
Johnstown would answer back just four minutes later on a power play of their own as Dan Collins took advantage of a Charlotte miscue in front of the net and beat Doyle over the glove with a wrist shot.
Charlotte then regained the three-goal lead on the power play late in the period on a one-time shot by Leveille. The goal came with 10 seconds to play in the second frame and was assisted by Doig and Brouillette.
The Chiefs scored again to make it 4-2, however, the Checkers would add another goal on the power play, this time by Kenny Roche. The goal was Roche’s sixth in the last four games and was assisted by Leveille and Doig.
With less than four minutes to play the Checkers added some insurance and put the game out of reach. Mike Taylor circled down low and fed a pass to Brouillette who one-timed the puck past Mayotte for his fourth of the season.
The Checkers (9-3-2-0) will travel to Gwinnett over Thanksgiving before returning home to host the Gladiators on Sunday, Nov. 29 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Game time is 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: Tyler Doig now has 13 points (2g, 11a) in his last six games…Kenny Roche has six goals in his last four games…Michel Leveille leads the team in scoring with 22 pts (10g, 12a) in 14 games…rookie Andrew Carroll had his five-game goal streak snapped in Saturday’s win…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)…Ryan Munce, Trevor Glass and Randy Rowe are all on the 21-day injured reserve.