CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers scored four second-period goals and cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte.
Mike Harder led the way offensively with a goal and two assists while T.J. Reynolds and Randy Rowe chipped in with a goal and an assist each.
Just over two minutes into the contest, the Checkers struck first on a goal by Mike Harder. Randy Rowe forced a turnover down low in the Gladiators zone, took a shot and Harder was there to stuff home the rebound for his seventh of the season. The assist was Rowe’s 400th career ECHL point.
Charlotte again benefited from a quick start out of the locker room as Michel Leveille notched his 11th of the season two and a half minutes into the second period. T.J. Reynolds fired a shot from the point and Leveille was there to tip it past Gwinnett goaltender Danny Taylor.
Gwinnett forward Sam Roberts was assessed an interference penalty at 6:04 of the period and the Checkers went to work on the power play. Julien Brouillette took a shot from the point that was tipped by Harder and Rowe was there to pot the rebound.
Charlotte would then take a four-goal lead midway through the period as Tyler Doig, on a two-on-one, fed a pass over to Aaron Slattengren who one-timed a shot past Taylor. The goal came at 11:25 and was the end of the night for Taylor as he was pulled out of the Gwinnett net and replaced by David Brown.
The goaltending change did not turn out as the Gladiators had hoped as T.J. Reynolds netted his fourth of the season just 46 seconds later.
Gwinnett would add a goal midway through the third period and one with 10 seconds left but it wasn’t enough as the Checkers walked away with the victory.
Miika Wiikman stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win while Danny Taylor and David Brown combined for 35 saves on 40 shots in a losing cause for the Gladiators.
The Checkers (17-10-4-0) will host South Carolina on Wednesday. Game time is 7 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 14 points in his last 12 games…Randy Rowe has five goals in the last four games and now has 401 career ECHL points…Miika Wiikman has only one regulation loss in 10 games this season (6-1-2)…the Checkers are 9-3-1 in their last 13 home games…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 137 penalty minutes, and is second in overall plus-minus with a +19 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.
Gwinnett Gladiators 2 At Charlotte Checkers 5 - Status: Final
Jan 3, 2010 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Gwinnett 0 0 2 - 2
Charlotte 1 4 0 - 5
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Harder 7 (Rowe), 2:03. Penalties-Marshall Chr (roughing), 2:11; Paris Gwt (hooking), 6:05; Carroll Chr (boarding), 6:37; Schepke Chr (tripping), 18:55.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Leveille 11 (Reynolds), 2:29. 3, Charlotte, Rowe 11 (Brouillette, Harder), 6:19 (pp). 4, Charlotte, Slattengren 2 (Doig, Ward), 11:25. 5, Charlotte, Reynolds 4 (Harder), 12:11. Penalties-Roberts Gwt (interference), 6:04.
3rd Period-6, Gwinnett, Galivan 16 (Roberts, Berti), 11:03. 7, Gwinnett, Forney 3 19:50. Penalties-Francis Gwt (fighting - major), 4:54; Doig Chr (fighting - major), 4:54.
Shots on Goal-Gwinnett 8-14-10-32. Charlotte 13-16-11-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Gwinnett 0 of 3; Charlotte 1 of 2.
Goalies-Gwinnett, Taylor 7-6-1-2 (24 shots-20 saves); Brown 5-5-1-0 (16 shots-15 saves). Charlotte, Wiikman 6-1-1-1 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Jason Rollins (13).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).