POTENT PP PUNISHES PENGUINS

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS Wilkes Barre

Boychuk’s hat trick, Dalpe’s four assists lead Checkers to 9-5 win

WILKES-BARRE, PA. – The Charlotte Checkers scored four goals on the power play, including the game-winning tally, as they routed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 9-5, on the road on Sunday afternoon.

Zach Boychuk was named the game’s first star, recording his first professional hat trick, while Zac Dalpe contributed four assists on an afternoon in which 14 different Checkers recorded points. Dalpe now leads all AHL rookies in scoring with 34 points despite only playing in 28 games.

Justin Pogge earned his 14th win by making 28 saves and extended his streak to 10 straight road wins.

Brett Sterling scored two goals for the Penguins, who showed resiliency by pulling even with Charlotte in the second period after falling behind 3-0 and 4-1 in the first. The goaltending duo of John Curry and Patrick Killeen stopped 24 of 33 shots and allowed a franchise-record high nine goals against.

The Checkers struck first at 3:59 of the first period when the line of Boychuk, Dalpe and Drayson Bowman went to work cycling the puck in the Penguins zone. After receiving a pass from Dalpe, Boychuk curled out of the corner and sniped a wrist shot past Curry just under the cross-bar.

Charlotte went ahead 2-0 by scoring its first of four power-play goals when Jacob Micflikier made a quick re-direction of a Chris Terry point-shot at 10:10. Terry was then in on another goal when he fired a shot which was tipped by Jon Matsumoto to make it 3-0 Charlotte, with less than four minutes to play in the period.

After Chris Collins got Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the board by beating Justin Pogge with a wrist shot from the left-wing circle, Boychuk replied by deflecting a backhand pass from Dalpe over Curry’s shoulder.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made it a two-goal game once again with less than a second remaining in the opening frame as Brett Sterling scored his 17th while on the power play.

After having taken two three-goal leads, Charlotte found itself even with the Penguins midway through the second period when Tim Wallace and Eric Tangradi scored in a 1:55 span to knot the game at 4-4.

Riley Nash restored the Checkers’ lead when solid forechecking from Nicolas Blanchard led to the puck being shot out front of the Penguins goal. Nash faked from forehand-to-backhand and deposited his ninth into the empty cage behind Curry.

Leading 5-4 after two periods, the Checkers scored four goals, 9:57 apart, to start the third frame.

Bryan Rodney started the onslaught by scoring the Checkers’ third power-play goal, and eventual game winner, 1:20 into the third. Rodney skated in from the blue line and banged home a rebound off the end-boards.

Just 1:36 later, Michal Jordan scored his third goal of the season to make the score 7-4 before Boychuk completed the hat trick with Charlotte’s fourth power-play goal at 5:51. Bowman then notched his third goal in the last four games, less than five minutes later, to make it 9-4. Bowman used a backhand shot to beat Killeen, who came into the Penguins’ goal in relief of Curry.

Sterling scored his second of the game with less than eight minutes to play, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton couldn’t catch up and the Checkers walked away with a 9-5 victory. The 14 total goals were the most scored in a Checkers game this season.

The Checkers (25-16-5) and Penguins will battle again on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Tune into www.AHLLive.com to catch all the action. Saturday packs are now on sale and include four Saturdays and two free vouchers for as low as $48. Visit www.gocheckers.com/saturdaypacks for more information.

NOTES:

Charlotte’s nine goals scored were its most in a road game this season…The Checkers win snapped the Penguins’ six-game home winning streak which dated back to Dec. 30…Zach Boychuk now has eight points against the Penguins this season, the most of any player in the season series…Boychuk has a league-leading nine-game road point streak (13 points)…Justin Pogge now has 10 straight road wins…Zac Dalpe is on a seven-game point streak (2g, 12a) and leads all AHL rookies with 34 points (14g, 20a) in just 28 games.

Charlotte Checkers 9 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5 – Status: Final
Sunday, January 23, 2011 – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Charlotte 4 1 4 – 9
W-B/Scranton 2 2 1 – 5

1st Period-1, Charlotte, Boychuk 13 (Dalpe, Bowman), 3:59. 2, Charlotte, Micflikier 19 (Terry, Rodney), 10:10 (PP). 3, Charlotte, Matsumoto 12 (Terry, Osala), 16:03 (PP). 4, W-B/Scranton, Collins 9   18:03. 5, Charlotte, Boychuk 14 (Dalpe, Carson), 18:38. 6, W-B/Scranton, Sterling 16 (Wagner, Vitale), 19:59 (PP). Penalties-Craig Wbs (goaltender interference), 9:02; Bellemore Cha (roughing), 11:56; Sneep Wbs (roughing), 11:56; Bowman Cha (high-sticking), 13:21; Wagner Wbs (tripping), 15:26; Micflikier Cha (high-sticking), 19:56.

2nd Period-7, W-B/Scranton, Wallace 13   8:27. 8, W-B/Scranton, Tangradi 17 (Bortuzzo, Craig), 10:22 (PP). 9, Charlotte, Nash 9 (Blanchard, Borer), 17:04. Penalties-Sutter Cha (fighting), 0:59; Tangradi Wbs (boarding, fighting), 0:59; Rodney Cha (roughing), 4:45; Bellemore Cha (hooking), 10:07; Sill Wbs (high-sticking), 14:01; Osala Cha (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:38; served by Walker Wbs (bench minor – unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:38; Veilleux Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:38; Pogge Cha (roughing, roughing), 20:00; Vitale Wbs (roughing), 20:00.

3rd Period-10, Charlotte, Rodney 6 (Dalpe, Boychuk), 1:20 (PP). 11, Charlotte, Jordan 3 (Nash, Blanchard), 2:56. 12, Charlotte, Boychuk 15 (Dalpe, Matsumoto), 5:51 (PP). 13, Charlotte, Bowman 5 (Sutter, Borer), 10:23. 14, W-B/Scranton, Sterling 17   12:36. Penalties-Tangradi Wbs (slashing), 1:04; Terry Cha (holding), 2:19; Tangradi Wbs (misconduct), 5:45; Vitale Wbs (hooking), 5:45; Samson Cha (holding), 13:49; Strait Wbs (holding), 13:49; served by Bowman Cha (bench minor – too many men), 14:55; Tangradi Wbs (game misconduct – abuse of officials), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 13-4-11-28. W-B/Scranton 12-12-9-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 4 / 7; W-B/Scranton 2 / 6.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 13-9-2 (33 shots-28 saves). W-B/Scranton, Curry 16-6-0 (20 shots-13 saves); Killeen 0-0-0 (8 shots-6 saves).
A-7,144
Referees-Ryan Fraser (14), Ian Croft (87).
Linesmen-Judson Ritter (34), Leo Boylan (97).

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