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Red and Black Hockey

Checkers take commanding lead.  Murphy en fuego

On Wednesday night, the Charlotte Checkers defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1-0 in game four of the East Division final of the Calder Cup playoffs.  Charlotte leads the series 3-1 and will have a chance to finish the series at home on Friday night.  If and when they finish this series, they will advance to the Eastern Conference final against either Binghamton (Senators) or Portland (Sabres).   

Mike Murphy, who continues to improve in this playoff season, made 44 saves for the shutout, his first of the playoffs.  His GAA of 1.73 is second in the league for the playoffs.  His save percentage of .945 is first in the league.  He’s tied for the league lead with six wins and one shutout.  The last time he allowed a goal was at 13:23 of the first period in game three.  If you’re scoring along at home, that’s a run of 106 minutes, 37 seconds.  Oh.  Did I mention that he’s just a 21 year old kid playing in his first professional season? 

Chris Terry scored the only goal of the game at 2:01 of the third period.

The announced attendance for this game was 4,406, which is right at the league average for these playoffs.  I will expect Friday’s game to draw at least 6,000. 

This series is proving that the regular season doesn’t matter once you make it to the second season.  WBS dominated Charlotte in regular season play.  Embarrassed them, even.  However, in this series, the Checkers have the upper hand and the Pens are against the ropes.

Even with the disclaimer that regular season numbers don’t mean anything in the post-season .... Charlotte was 4-3-1-0 versus the Binghamton Senators in the regular season including a 2-2 record at home and a 2-1-1-0 record on the road. One of those road victories was in overtime, so Binghamton has the same 4-3-1-0 record in the season series.  They only played four games against the Portland Pirates, and ended up splitting them.  2-2-0-0 on the road and the same mark at home.  None of those games was decided in overtime.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl+playoffs, charlotte+checkers, mike+murphy, wilkes-barre/scranton+penguins

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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. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.