NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—The Charlotte Checkers got two power-play goals from Randy Rowe and Andrew Carroll scored his second game-winner in three games as the team defeated the South Carolina Stingrays, 5-4, on Sunday.
Rowe now has four goals in the last three games and 10 overall in just 16 games. Miika Wiikman stopped 21 of 25 shots for the win and is now undefeated in regulation in his last eight games (5-1-1). Michel Leveille, in his fourth game since returning from injury, chipped in with three assists.
Less than four minutes into the game, Charlotte opened the scoring and is now 11-1-4 when doing so. Aaron Slattengren brought the puck around the net from the right wing and centered to Jean-Philipp Chabot who redirected it between the legs of Stingrays goaltender Todd Ford.
The Checkers would double their lead, midway through the first period, on a power play goal by Rowe. Julien Brouillette launched a shot from the point, Ford could not control the rebound and Rowe was there to bang home the rebound.
Just over three minutes later, South Carolina got on the board as Matt Fornataro took advantage of a turnover in the Checkers’ end and beat Wiikman between the legs. They would then tie the game early in the second period on a goal by Dain Prewitt.
Charlotte, working on the power play again, took the lead at the 12-minute mark of the second period when Rowe converted a rebound past Ford on a shot by Leveille.
Again, South Carolina was there to tie the contest when Gregg Johnson, working a give-and-go play with Fornataro, notched his 10th of the season.
In the first half of the third period, the teams would trade goals again as Tyler Doig beat Ford with a wrist shot before Stingrays forward Prewitt responded on the power play.
The stage was set for late-game heroics and Andrew Carroll delivered once again. Chabot took a shot on the South Carolina and Carroll was there to pot the rebound, his third game-winning goal of the season.
With time winding down in the third period, the Checkers were assessed two penalties and South Carolina pulled their goaltender for a six-on-three advantage. Wiikman, however, made several key saves and the Charlotte defenders were able to clear the zone, sealing the 5-4 victory.
The Checkers (16-10-4-0) will host Gwinnett on Sunday, Jan. 3. Game time is 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com
Notes: Ryan Munce ranks second among all ECHL goaltenders with a .922 save percentage…Tyler Doig has 13 points in his last 11 games…Randy Rowe has four goals in the last three games and now has 399 career ECHL points…Miika Wiikman has only one regulation loss in nine games this season (5-1-2)…rookie Andrew Carroll has three game-winning goals in the last eight games…the Checkers are 8-3-1 in their last 12 home games…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL players with 137 penalty minutes, and is tied for the lead league in plus-minus with a +18 rating…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford, Daniel Tkaczuk is with Syracuse, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Codey Burki and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
Charlotte Checkers 5 At South Carolina Stingrays 4 - Status: Final
Dec 27, 2009 - North Charleston Coliseum
Charlotte 2 1 2 - 5
South Carolina 1 2 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Chabot 5 (Slattengren), 3:47. 2, Charlotte, Rowe 9 (Brouillette, Leveille), 9:38 (pp). 3, South Carolina, Fornataro 18 (Ricci), 13:07. Penalties-Reynolds Chr (fighting - major), 2:21; Kiser Sc (fighting - major), 2:21; Johnson Sc (hooking), 7:18; Romfo Sc (cross-checking), 8:53; Brouillette Chr (tripping), 11:23; Johnson Sc (high-sticking), 12:14; Kiser Sc (holding), 14:22; Berube Chr (fighting - major), 17:18; Scherer Sc (tripping, fighting - major), 17:18; Roche Chr (hooking), 18:54.
2nd Period-4, South Carolina, Prewitt 3 (Ricci, Johnson), 5:50. 5, Charlotte, Rowe 10 (Doig, Leveille), 12:05 (pp). 6, South Carolina, Johnson 10 (Fornataro, Prewitt), 17:03. Penalties-Reynolds Chr (roughing, roughing), 1:32; Roche Chr (roughing), 1:32; Carbery Sc (roughing), 1:32; Romfo Sc (cross-checking), 11:23; Kroll Sc (roughing), 14:32; Reynolds Chr (slashing ), 19:57.
3rd Period-7, Charlotte, Doig 9 (Leveille, Reynolds), 5:41. 8, South Carolina, Prewitt 4 (Campbell, Johnson), 9:54 (pp). 9, Charlotte, Carroll 11 (Chabot, Slattengren), 15:26. Penalties-Taylor Chr (slashing ), 9:21; Romfo Sc (tripping), 10:26; Reynolds Chr (tripping), 17:56; Carroll Chr (delay of game), 18:55.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 12-8-10-30. South Carolina 5-12-8-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 of 8; South Carolina 1 of 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Wiikman 5-1-1-1 (25 shots-21 saves). South Carolina, Ford 16-6-0-1 (30 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Jason Rollins (13).
Linesmen-Mark Hamlett (81), Terry Wicklum (98).