Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 04/22/11 at 10:26 PM ET
On Friday night, the Charlotte Checkers overcame a 3-0 lead late in the second period to score five straight goals in a 5-3 win over the visiting Hershey Bears. Charlotte now has a 3-2 lead in the series as it shifts back to Hershey for games six Sunday and (if necessary) seven on Monday.
Drayson Bowman had an empty net goal and two assists. Oskar Osala had a goal and two assists. Nick Dodge had the game winner for the second game in a row. Brett Sutter had a goal and an assist. Zach Boychuk also had a goal and one assist.
It would have been easy for the team to give up. Down 3-0 late in the second, they could have folded up the tents and mailed it in for the rest of the game. But they didn’t. They stayed hungry, got a good break on a late goal in the second. Then they got a power play goal in the first minute of the third, and it was a new game. Instead of being down and out, they responded with a flurry of goals and put themselves into a good position. Two chances to finish off this series on the road.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins have just taken a 3-2 lead in their series against the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning) and will have two chances to finish off that series on their home ice. Last season, Carolina’s top affiliate Albany River Rats swept the Baby Pens in the first round, then were swept by the Bears in the second round of Calder Cup playoffs.
Although it was the routine all season for the Checkers to alternate goalies from one night to the next, they went with Mike Murphy again for the third game in a row, and he came through with another big win. He made a total of 32 saves including some huge ones down the stretch. The Bears had a long five-on-three late in the third, then he had to face a six-on-five with the Bears goaltender pulled.
Zac Dalpe, who was on fire in the first two games, was shut down in game three. In game four, and in game five tonight, he got one assist. He’s got seven (3/4) points through five games, good enough for second best among rookies and sixth best in the league. Zach Boychuk is right behind him with six (3/3) points. Boychuk has had a point in every game in this series. He’s one of only three AHL players with that distinction.
Brett Sutter is having a surprising tournament. He has five (1/4) points. He’s fourth in team scoring behind Dalpe, Boychuk and Bowman.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.