ADMIRALS ORDER 2 POINTS, CHECKERS OBEY

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS     Norfolk

SAMSON’S OT GOAL ENDS SEESAW BATTLE
Matsumoto pots two goals as Checkers down Admirals, 7-6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – AHL All-Star Jerome Samson’s goal, 1:11 into overtime, was the difference as the Charlotte Checkers beat the Norfolk Admirals, 7-6, at Time Warner Cable Arena Thursday evening.

With the win, the Checkers vault past the Admirals for third place in the East Division. Norfolk is now winless in six games and for the first time in nine meetings in the season series, the home team prevailed.

Jon Matsumoto led the offensive charge for Charlotte, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Chris Terry and Jerome Samson also contributed a goal and assist each, while Mike Murphy made 30 saves to improve to 11-2-0 in his last 13 starts.

The Checkers took an early 1-0 lead when Jacob Micflikier beat Admirals goaltender Jaroslav Janus with a breakaway deke after capitalizing on a Norfolk turnover. The unassisted strike gave Micflikier his first 20-goal season since his sophomore year at the University of New Hampshire.

Terry put the Checkers ahead, 2-0, by scoring on a rebound 15 seconds later. The goal was assisted by Matsumoto, who started the play with solid forechecking in the Admirals’ zone.

Norfolk then scored two quick tallies to make it 2-2. Blair Jones slid a backhander past Murphy’s arm before Matt Fornataro tied the game, 5:17 later, scoring off of his own rebound.

The Checkers regained the lead with 1:42 remaining in the opening frame when Riley Nash potted his 11th goal of the season off a cross-ice feed from Bryan Rodney. With the goal, Charlotte now has power-play goals in seven of its last eight games.

Johan Harju tied it for Norfolk again before Zac Dalpe ripped a wrist shot off the crossbar at 8:08 of the second to make it 4-3.

The Admirals and Checkers would trade goals again before the end of the second period as Radko Gudas scored for Norfolk and Matsumoto notched his first of the night, minutes later.

Midway through the third period, Matsumoto, the game’s first star, put the Checkers ahead 6-4 with a quick snap shot over Janus’ blocker.

It looked as though Charlotte would cruise to victory but the resilient Admirals fought back with goals by Alex Berry and Marc-Antoine Pouliot to send the game to overtime.

Just one minute into the extra frame, Samson drove the net and attempted a pass to Matsumoto that deflected off a defender’s skate and past Janus for the victory.

The Checkers (27-18-5) will host the Providence Bruins on Sunday at 3 p.m. The first 2,500 fans will receive a Checkers team poster, courtesy of North Carolina Zoo Asheboro. For ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit www.gocheckers.com.

Notes:

The Checkers’ win was the first by the home team in the nine-game season series…Jerome Samson has scored the game-winner in the last two Charlotte wins…Brad Herauf played in his 400th professional game…Samson ranks third in the AHL with 24 goals…Mike Murphy is 11-2-0 in his last 13 starts…The Checkers are now 6-2-1 against Norfolk this season.

Norfolk Admirals 6 at Charlotte Checkers 7 (OT) – Status: Final OT
Thursday, February 3, 2011 – Time Warner Cable Arena

Norfolk 2 2 2 0 – 6
Charlotte 3 2 1 1 – 7

1st Period-1, Charlotte, Micflikier 20   3:50. 2, Charlotte, Terry 19 (Matsumoto), 4:05. 3, Norfolk, Jones 14 (Wright, Bergeron), 8:01 (PP). 4, Norfolk, Fornataro 15 (Barberio, Giliati), 13:18. 5, Charlotte, Nash 11 (Rodney, Samson), 18:18 (PP). Penalties-Labrie Nor (fighting), 2:36; Herauf Cha (fighting), 2:36; Osala Cha (slashing), 5:08; Bowman Cha (bench minor – too many men), 6:25; Jordan Cha (holding), 11:28; Roy Nor (tripping), 12:33; Vernace Nor (roughing), 17:02.

2nd Period-6, Norfolk, Harju 17 (Roy, Wright), 4:51. 7, Charlotte, Dalpe 15 (Terry), 8:08. 8, Norfolk, Gudas 4 (Berry, Barberio), 14:00. 9, Charlotte, Matsumoto 13   17:14 (SH). Penalties-Gudas Nor (fighting), 6:26; Bowman Cha (fighting), 6:26; Pouliot Nor (roughing, roughing), 9:08; Herauf Cha (roughing), 9:08; Carson Cha (hooking), 11:48; Jordan Cha (holding), 15:38.

3rd Period-10, Charlotte, Matsumoto 14 (Jordan), 8:59. 11, Norfolk, Berry 12 (Pouliot), 11:53 (PP). 12, Norfolk, Pouliot 13 (Fornataro, Harju), 17:27. Penalties-Bowman Cha (hooking), 10:52; Szczechura Nor (high-sticking), 12:47.

OT Period-13, Charlotte, Samson 24   1:11. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Norfolk 10-15-9-2-36. Charlotte 15-9-4-1-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 2 / 6; Charlotte 1 / 4.
Goalies-Norfolk, Janus 0-1-0 (29 shots-22 saves). Charlotte, Murphy 13-9-2 (36 shots-30 saves).
A-4,303
Referees-Steve Patafie (85).
Linesmen-Terry Wicklum (58), Paul Carnathan (93).

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