The Charlotte Checkers proved why they are the top team in the Midwest division this evening. The Checkers struck first, and Texas came back with two quick ones. Charlotte was not deterred, coming back to score two of their own and win 3-2, locking down a third period where they were outshot 13-7. Texas drops to 8-11-0-1 with the loss.
Charlotte got on the board first with a goal from Zac Dalpe, his third of the year, just 4:23 into the game. Texas was being outshot early and did not gather their first shot until after the eight minute mark of the game. At that point, they poured it on though.
Jordie Benn grabbed his seventh of the season on a rebound of a Travis Morin shot. The goal pushed Benn into the goal scoring lead among all AHL defensemen. Just two minutes later, some low cycle work was rewarded when Luke Gazdic got his fifth of the year, going five-hole on Mike Murphy for a 2-1 lead. Linemates Ryan Garbutt and Mathieu Tousignant were credited with the assists. That lead would only last five minutes, as Brett Sutter tied it up late int he period to send things to the locker room at two a piece. Shots were curiously low at eight each in the period.
The second period's only scoring came when Jon Matsumoto beat Tyler Beskorowany at 11:24 for his ninth of the year. Shots were led by Charlotte in the period at 9-6 to lead by a 17-14 total count after two.
Texas would go on the power play multiple times in the third period, including a short 5-on-3, but they were ultimately 0/5 on the night. A late period bench minor for too many men stalled any momentum they might have had from the two immediately preceding power plays. Even with the extra skater, Texas couldn't break through and the final would end up at 3-2 for Charlotte.
Mike Murphy finished with 25 saves on 27 shots. Beskorowany had 21 saves on 24 shots.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Coyle, Neal, Godard (scratched)
Larsen, Vincour, Bachman (callup)
Tonight's attendance was 3,839.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Charlotte - November 30 2011