CHECKERS KING MONARCHS IN SHOOTOUT THRILLER
McNicoll pots two goals; Dalpe scores in first game back from Canes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After squandering a 5-2 lead in the third period, Drayson Bowman, Jon Matsumoto and Chris Terry scored shootout goals to lift the Charlotte Checkers to a 6-5 win over the Manchester Monarchs in front of more than 10,000 fans on Friday evening.
Forward Cedric McNicoll led the offensive charge with two goals, while defenseman Brett Bellemore scored his first of the season and added an assist.
Starting for the first time in eight games, Mike Murphy earned his 10th win by making 35 saves in regulation and overtime and stopping all three of Manchester’s attempts in the shootout. Despite 41 saves of his own, Jeff Zatkoff took the loss for the Monarchs in his first appearance in the season series.
After Marc-Andre Cliché opened the scoring for Manchester, 4:09 into the first period, Zac Dalpe tied the game on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush with Jerome Samson. Dalpe faked a shot, delayed and fired the puck into the top corner past Zatkoff. The goal came at the 7:00 mark of the first period and was his first after returning from the Hurricanes earlier in the day.
McNicoll then scored the game’s next two goals from heads-up passes by Nicolas Blanchard, who recorded three assists on the night.
Bellemore made the score 4-1 Checkers before Thomas Hickey’s second-period goal brought Manchester within two.
Matsumoto restored the Checkers’ three-goal advantage, scoring off a pass from Samson. Bellemore’s assist on the play gave the second-year defenseman his first multi-point game as a pro.
Entering the night with a 16-2-0-0 record when leading after two periods, Charlotte’s 5-2 cushion after 40 minutes appeared to be safe. But the Atlantic Division leading Monarchs rallied for three goals within a 7:47 span in the third period, tying the game at 5-5.
After a scoreless overtime, the Checkers went to a shootout for the second time in their last three home games. Although Charlotte entered the night just 1-3 in shootouts this season, Mike Murphy came up big, consecutively stopping Corey Elkins, Justin Azevedo and Oscar Moller, and earned the victory.
Charlotte improved to 23-14-1-4, winning for the 10th time at home, while Manchester fell to 26-14-1-2.
The Checkers will host Norfolk on Sunday at 5 p.m. Get four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and a Coke coupon for just $55 plus Ticketmaster fees. Stick around after the game for the post-game skate with the Checkers. For information call 704-342-4423 or visit www.gocheckers.com.
Jerome Samson has five points (1g, 4a) in his last five games…Nick Dodge’s league-leading ironman streak of 201 games was snapped Friday. Chris Terry now takes over the AHL lead with 122 straight games played.
Manchester Monarchs 5 at Charlotte Checkers 6 (SO) – Status: Final SO
Friday, January 14, 2011 – Time Warner Cable Arena
Manchester 1 1 3 0 – 5
Charlotte 2 3 0 0 – 6
1st Period-1, Manchester, Cliche 10 (Moller, Loktionov), 4:09. 2, Charlotte, Dalpe 13 7:00 (SH). 3, Charlotte, McNicoll 1 (Blanchard), 13:49. Penalties-Nash Cha (hooking), 5:52; Osala Cha (hooking), 9:08; Holloway Mch (hooking), 9:55; Terry Cha (elbowing), 14:04; Dalpe Cha (tripping), 16:42.
2nd Period-4, Charlotte, McNicoll 2 (Blanchard, Pistilli), 3:16. 5, Charlotte, Bellemore 1 (Pistilli, Blanchard), 6:47. 6, Manchester, Hickey 6 (King), 11:24. 7, Charlotte, Matsumoto 11 (Samson, Bellemore), 13:13. Penalties-Cliche Mch (high-sticking), 4:11; Hill Mch (fighting), 7:21; FitzGerald Cha (fighting), 7:21; Pistilli Cha (high-sticking), 7:21; Clune Mch (roughing), 13:39; Micflikier Cha (high-sticking), 14:22; Campbell Mch (roughing), 15:13; Zeiler Mch (roughing), 15:13; Samson Cha (roughing, misconduct – abuse of officials), 15:13.
3rd Period-8, Manchester, Voynov 9 (Loktionov, Moller), 8:34 (PP). 9, Manchester, Kolomatis 5 (Azevedo, King), 14:31 (PP). 10, Manchester, Loktionov 7 (Cliche, Moller), 16:21. Penalties-Clune Mch (roughing), 2:15; Kozun Mch (slashing), 2:15; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 2:15; Borer Cha (boarding), 6:35; FitzGerald Cha (elbowing), 7:57; Dalpe Cha (delay of game), 13:06; Hickey Mch (holding), 17:55; Micflikier Cha (roughing), 17:55.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hickey Mch (high-sticking), 1:06.
Shootout – Manchester 0 (Elkins NG, Azevedo NG, Moller NG), Charlotte 3 (Dalpe NG, Bowman G, Matsumoto G, Terry G).
Shots on Goal-Manchester 14-9-16-1-0-40. Charlotte 14-16-12-2-1-45.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 2 / 8; Charlotte 0 / 6.
Goalies-Manchester, Zatkoff 10-11-2 (44 shots-39 saves). Charlotte, Murphy 10-7-2 (40 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Mark Hamlett (81), Paul Carnathan (93).