Thursday, April 11, 2013

Checkers Take Tight Game Over Stars in Charlotte 4-3

Texas capatin Maxime Fortunus is pressured by Chris Terry. (Credit: Gregg Forwerck/Charlotte Checkers)
Turnovers seemed to be the story of the game tonight as Charlotte captured two points in a tight game with the Stars in North Carolina. The Stars ceded the early lead but stormed back to lead 2-1. The score was tied at two and three subsequently, but Charlotte took advantage of a late game power play to score the game winner.

The Stars also had a chance to score the game winner late on the power play but were stymied repeatedly by Rob Madore, who is giving Texas fits this season. Madore saw 47 shots tonight from Texas and stopped 44 of them.

Texas stays at 91 points with the loss and loses their chance to clinch the South Division tomorrow.

Jack Campbell was tested early in the game, turning away four shots in quick succession to keep the game scoreless. Brett Sutter generated the first goal of the game late in the first period as a big hit on Mike Commodore forced a turnover to the Checkers center. He slid the puck the Matt Beca in the slot who put it home for the 1-0 lead.

Charlotte outshot Texas 17-12 in the first period and held the lead after twenty.

The Stars came out of the gate on fire in the second period. Colton Sceviour tied the score with a nifty wraparound goal just thirty seconds into the period. Travis Morin assisted on the tally. Brett Ritchie got in on the action less than ninety seconds later to give Texas its first lead of the night.

A Zach Boychuk turnover sent the puck toward the net off the stick of Mike Hedden. Checkers goalie Rob Madore thought he had the puck covered, but he did not as Ritchie and Dowling poked at the puck furiously. Ritchie scored his second goal of the scramble.

Madore made up for his misstep with a solid penalty kill, robbing both Petersen and Ritchie on the power play.

Turnovers continued to haunt both teams as a giveaway by Justin Dowling gave Charlotte the tying goal just after the power play expired. Bobby Raymond knotted things at two after forty with his fourth of the year.

Texas ended the period with that tie despite outshooting the Checkers 20-7 in the period.

The Stars got caught trying to breakout and change all at once halfway through the third. Texas left Taylor Vause as the only man in the Stars' zone as the Checkers gained possession and scored Jeremy Welsh's twelfth of the year. Texas answered right back as Cameron Gaunce blasted one from the blue line to score just his second of the year and first as a Star.

Texas had a chance to cash in on the power play late but it was again Rob Madore stealing the game. Nothing got through, and Mike Hedden took a penalty for tripping with less than three minutes left. The ensuing power play would be the game for Charlotte. Zach Boychuk made up for his earlier turnover to Hedden, coincidentally, by finishing off a Chris Terry passing play with his twentieth of the year.

Tonight's lines:
R. Smith-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Wathier-Sonne-Glennie
Gazdic-Petersen-Vause

Oleksiak-Commodore
Gaunce-Connauton
Fortunus-Sloan

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Fraser, Chiasson, Benn, Nilstorp (call up)
Montgomery, Cameron, Nemeth, McKenzie, Wrenn (scratch)
Morrow (sick)

Tonight's attendance was 5,562.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Charlotte - April 11 2013

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