CRUNCHED

Charlotte Checkers VERSUS   Syracuse

PALMIERI’S HAT TRICK TOO MUCH FOR CHECKERS
Charlotte 2-1-0 on current four-game trip

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Paced by Kyle Palmieri’s second hat trick of the season and four straight goals in the second period, the Syracuse Crunch defeated the Charlotte Checkers, 6-2, at War Memorial at Oncenter.

Nick Dodge scored 6:21 into the second period and narrowed Syracuse’s lead to 2-1, but Palmieri replied twice, and Josh Green and Matt Beleskey tallied within a span of 3:37 to put the Checkers in an insurmountable deficit.

Although he received ample goal-scoring support, Timo Pielmeier was solid and earned the win by virtue of making 40 saves on 42 shots. The losing goalie was Justin Pogge, who made 24 saves on 30 shots through two periods, before being replaced by Mike Murphy.

Patrick Maroon scored the game’s first goal and gave the Crunch a 1-0 lead, 6:44 into the first period. The line of Brian McGrattan, Nick Bonino and Maroon executed a nifty tic-tac-toe play in the Charlotte zone and Maroon finished by snapping a shot under Pogge’s arm.

Just over 10 minutes later, goalie Timo Pielmeier found Palmieri with a leading pass and Palmieri raced in, beat a defenseman and whipped his 16th of the season beyond Pogge’s reach to put the Crunch ahead 2-0.

The Checkers pulled to within a goal when Dodge scored his first goal since Nov. 3 at 6:21 of the second period. Casey Borer and Jacob Micflikier earned assists as Dodge poked in a loose puck that Pielmeier lost sight of within a crowd of bodies at the top of his crease.

Charlotte stayed within a goal of Syracuse for 9:02, when Palmieri’s second goal of the game made the score 4-1. The Crunch scored three more second-period goals to take a 6-1 lead through two periods.

Bryan Rodney scored with 3:55 remaining, but the Checkers fell 6-2 and dropped to 2-1-0 on the current four-game road trip.

The Checkers (38-24-2-6) look to clinch a winning record on their four-game road trip when they travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a battle with the first place Penguins at 3:00 p.m. Charlotte then returns home on Tuesday for a tilt at Time Warner Cable Arena against the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 p.m. For ticket information, call 704-342-4423 or visit gocheckers.com.

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 and to be closer to the team. Visit www.gocheckers.com or head to www.facebook.com/charlottecheckers.

Notes: Jacob Micflikier notched four points in four games against the Crunch this season…Charlotte is 6-3-1-1 in games played in the state of New York and 15-6-0-2 in the second half of back-to-back games…the Checkers are 20-12-1-2 on the road this season.

Charlotte Checkers 2 at Syracuse Crunch 6 – Status: Final
Saturday, March 19, 2011 – Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter

Charlotte 0 1 1 – 2
Syracuse 2 4 0 – 6

1st Period-1, Syracuse, Maroon 19 (Bonino, McGrattan), 6:44. 2, Syracuse, Palmieri 16 (Pielmeier), 16:54 (PP). Penalties-Terry Cha (high-sticking), 1:19; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 9:51; McGrattan Syr (major – interference, game misconduct – interference), 9:51; Bellemore Cha (interference), 15:37; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 16:14; Green Syr (roughing), 16:14; Micflikier Cha (roughing), 17:14.

2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Dodge 5 (Borer, Micflikier), 6:21. 4, Syracuse, Palmieri 17 (Maroon), 15:23. 5, Syracuse, Beleskey 10 (Bonino, Palmieri), 16:46. 6, Syracuse, Palmieri 18 (de Gray, Maroon), 18:23. 7, Syracuse, Green 12 (Mitchell, Deschamps), 19:00. Penalties-Kurtz Syr (cross-checking), 4:21; Dalpe Cha (slashing), 8:30; Clark Syr (high-sticking), 12:21.

3rd Period-8, Charlotte, Rodney 9 (Matsumoto), 16:05. Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (high-sticking), 14:38; Kurtz Syr (interference), 15:41.

Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-12-22-42. Syracuse 10-20-7-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 3; Syracuse 1 / 5.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 17-14-3 (30 shots-24 saves); Murphy 21-11-3 (7 shots-7 saves). Syracuse, Pielmeier 11-15-1 (42 shots-40 saves).
A-5,639
Referees-Jean Hebert (43).
Linesmen-Jeff Walker (28), Brian Lemon (25).

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