CHECKERS BLANK CYCLONES TO FORCE GAME 7
Munce Earns Second Shutout Of Series In 3-0 Win Over Cincinnati
The Charlotte Checkers entered Tuesday night facing elimination. One stunning performance in between the pipes by Ryan Munce and three different Checkers scoring goals and Charlotte will host a Game Seven battle at the Time Warner Arena Wednesday night.
Cincinnati entered the game Tuesday night needing just one win to advance to the Conference finals, but the Checkers put three behind Cyclones starter, Jeremy Smith (25 saves, 29-19-1) to even the conference semifinal series at 3-3.
The Cyclones threw shots at Munce (25 saves, 32-18-2) from every angle, but the Mississauga, Ontario native was up to the challenge and blanked the visitors for the second time in the series.
Kenny Roche notched what proved to be the game-winning goal very early into the contest. He also would add an assist on Andrew Carroll’s fourth of the playoffs. Randy Rowe also scored for the home team, while Wolf Pack defenseman Julien Brouillette, on loan to Charlotte for the playoffs, chipped in with two assists.
With the win, the Checkers improve their home record to 4-1 in the playoffs.
The Checkers opened the scoring on their first shot of the game just 2:24 into the first period. After Cincinnati put considerable pressure on Munce, the Checkers responded. Matt Stefanishion laid a big hit along the boards freeing the puck up for Trevor Hendrikx. Hendrikx then took it to the net and fed Roche who tapped it in from the top of the crease for his third goal of the playoffs. Roche’s goal was the Checkers first of the game after seven by the Cyclones.
Early in the second, Charlotte was handed a 5-on-3 man advantage when Cincinnati was assessed a tripping penalty to Dustin Sproat and then a delay of game infraction put forward Mark Van Guilder in the box as well. The Checkers worked the puck down low and back to the point. The Cyclones didn’t make it easy for their hosts blocking several shot attempts and keeping Charlotte to the outside, maintaining a 1-0 game.
Cincinnati forward Barret Ehgoetz was called for a goaltender interference penalty late in the period and the Checkers went to work on another power play. Aaron Slattengren grabbed the puck down low and fed Brouillette who fired a one-timer from the left point. Rowe was in the slot and tipped the puck down and past Smith who on the replay didn’t appear to see it through the traffic in front of him. The power-play goal came at 18:50 of the second period and put the Checkers up 2-0.
Early in the third, the puck took a strange bounce and landed on the stick of Michel Leveille who fired a shot at Smith from the slot but the rookie netminder scrambled to make an impressive pad save.
Munce then responded to his Cincinnati counterpart when he did the splits and gloved a Jimmy Kilpatrick slap shot from the high slot.
With less than seven minutes to play in the third period, Carroll broke in alone on Smith, faked the shot, went to the backhand but was denied by Smith’s left arm.
Charlotte then took a 3-0 lead with 6:14 to play when Brouillette entered the zone on a 3-on-1 and launched a pass cross-ice to Carroll. The rookie took the pass on the right-wing side and fired a wrist shot which deflected off Smith’s shoulder and into the top corner for his fourth of the postseason.
Munce then shut the door for the remaining six minutes and the Checkers walked away with a 3-0 victory, setting the stage for Game 7 tomorrow in Charlotte.
Charlotte (6-4) will host Cincinnati for Game 7 tomorrow in Charlotte (7 p.m.).
Tickets are now on sale and information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com/playoffs.
* Ryan Munce leads the ECHL with two postseason shutouts
* Aaron Slattengren leads the Checkers with 10 points (2g, 8a) in the playoffs while Mike Taylor leads the team with five goals
* Matt Schepke is on a four-game point streak (4g, 2a)
* Charlotte is 12-2 in its last 14 home games
* Charlotte clinched its first division title and #1 conference seed in franchise history heading into the playoffs
* Ryan Munce led the ECHL in save percentage (.913), was third in wins (26) and was named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for March
* Andrew Carroll led the Checkers this season with 30 goals, including six game winners
Taylor – Leveille © – Slattengren
Rowe – Bartlett – Roche
Doig – Carroll – Stefanishion
Schaefer – Brouillette
Nightingale – Reynolds
Hendrikx – Ward
(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)
Dave Urquhart – Healthy Scratch
Mike Berube – Healthy Scratch
Brock Bradford – Healthy Scratch
Matt Schepke – Upper Body Injury
Daniel Tkaczuk – Upper Body Injury
1. CHR – R. Munce
2. CHR – K. Roche
3. CHR – J. Brouillette
Keith Kaval (20)
Mathieu Chenier (71)
Mike Hamilton (80)
GAME SEVEN…need we say more? Jason Shaya and Chris Snavely with the call from the Time Warner Cable Arena starting at 7pm.
For live in-game coverage from your cell phone or computer, we’ll have the action for you at www.twitter.com/howlingstoday.
You can always buy tickets for any Checkers game home or away at Ticketmaster.com.
Should you want to watch this very exciting team from the comfort of your computer chair, all Checkers games are available on B2Live.
Cincinnati Cyclones 0 At Charlotte Checkers 3 – Status: Final
Apr 27, 2010 – Time Warner Cable Arena
Cincinnati 0 0 0 – 0
Charlotte 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Roche 3 (Hendrikx), 2:24. Penalties-Stefanishion Chr (hooking), 9:35; Del Monte Cin (slashing ), 15:19; Doig Chr (slashing ), 17:37.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Rowe 1 (Slattengren, Brouillette), 18:50 (pp). Penalties-Sproat Cin (tripping), 0:11; Van Guilder Cin (delay of game), 2:04; Slattengren Chr (slashing ), 4:58; Ehgoetz Cin (interference on the goalkeeper), 17:24.
3rd Period-3, Charlotte, Carroll 4 (Brouillette, Roche), 13:46. Penalties-Stefanishion Chr (roughing), 4:54; Sheahan Cin (holding), 10:17; Benson Cin (unsportsmanlike conduct, unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:36; Stefanishion Chr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:36; Ehgoetz Cin (roughing), 18:47; Hendrikx Chr (double – roughing), 18:47.
Shots on Goal-Cincinnati 12-7-6-25. Charlotte 5-13-10-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Cincinnati 0 of 5; Charlotte 1 of 7.
Goalies-Cincinnati, Smith 6-4-1-0 (28 shots-25 saves). Charlotte, Munce 6-4-0-0 (25 shots-25 saves).