POGGE BACKSTOPS CHECKERS TO 2-1 WIN OVER SENS

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS Binghampton

Charlotte netminder makes 38 saves in first-star performance

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Justin Pogge earned first-star honors by making 38 saves as the Charlotte Checkers defeated the Binghamton Senators, 2-1, at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday night.

Jon Matsumoto’s goal with 26 seconds left in the second period proved to be the game winner for the Checkers, who improved to 4-2-1 in the season series and moved seven points ahead of the Senators in the East Division. Also scoring for Charlotte was Zac Dalpe, who extended his lead in AHL rookie scoring by registering his 44th point of the season.

Barry Brust allowed two goals on 24 shots for Binghamton, losing for just the second time in his last 13 starts. The only Senator to score a point was their leading goal scorer, Ryan Keller, who contributed his 26th marker of the season.

After the teams stalemated through the first half of the opening period, Dalpe netted a shorthanded goal to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead, 16:35 into the game. Chris Terry started the play by rushing the puck into Binghamton’s zone and sending a backhand pass towards the slot that Dalpe redirected past Brust.

The Senators drew even 1:46 into the second period when their captain, Keller, scored on the third attempt in a net-mouth scramble after Pogge denied the first two opportunities.

Matsumoto restored Charlotte’s one-goal advantage by scoring his 17th goal of the season with 26 seconds remaining in the second period. Zack FitzGerald started the scoring sequence with a break-out pass to Zach Boychuk, who slid a drop pass in the Binghamton zone that Matsumoto one-timed between Brust’s legs.

Binghamton fired 11 more shots at Pogge in the third period and mounted pressure while on a late power play, but the Charlotte netminder stood his ground and the Checkers held on for a 2-1 victory.

The Checkers (36-22-2-6) look to build on two straight wins when they close out the season series against division-rival Binghamton on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

For every ‘like’ the Checkers get on their Facebook page between now and Apr. 1, the team will donate $2 to Zach Bennett and his family, who plan to move to Charlotte for better medical care. Visit www.gocheckers.com for more information or head to www.facebook.com/charlottecheckers.

Notes:

Jon Matsumoto’s second-period goal was the 100th of his professional career…. The Checkers have won 14 consecutive games when Matsumoto gets a goal…Zac Dalpe has scored the game’s first goal five times this season…Charlotte is 26-5-1-1 when scoring first and 26-2-1-1 when leading after two periods… Charlotte improved to  23-14-2-5 against East Division teams.

Binghamton Senators 1 at Charlotte Checkers 2 – Status: Final
Tuesday, March 8, 2011 – Time Warner Cable Arena

Binghamton 0 1 0 – 1
Charlotte 1 1 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Charlotte, Dalpe 19 (Terry, Bellemore), 16:35 (SH). Penalties-Gryba Bng (interference), 3:55; Borer Cha (interference), 15:52.

2nd Period-2, Binghamton, Keller 26   1:46. 3, Charlotte, Matsumoto 17 (Boychuk, FitzGerald), 19:34. Penalties-Blanchard Cha (hooking), 11:21; Daugavins Bng (goaltender interference), 11:45.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Cowick Bng (tripping), 3:26; Benoit Bng (cross-checking), 5:04; FitzGerald Cha (boarding), 17:45.

Shots on Goal-Binghamton 9-19-11-39. Charlotte 8-9-7-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 0 / 3; Charlotte 0 / 4.
Goalies-Binghamton, Brust 24-13-1 (24 shots-22 saves). Charlotte, Pogge 16-13-3 (39 shots-38 saves).
A-3,744
Referees-Steve Patafie (85).
Linesmen-Paul Carnathan (93), Terry Wicklum (58).

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