Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 05/07/11 at 11:36 PM ET
The East Division final between Charlotte and WBS was a goaltenders duel for the first five games and the first period of game six. The Penguins scored two midway through the second, then they added a shorthanded goal early in the third. It looked like it was done, and there was already talk of practice tomorrow and game seven on Monday.
Fortunately, the Checkers found life in the third and exploded for four straight goals in a span of 9:18. Brad Thiessen, who had only given up one goal in the last three games, showed that there were chinks in his armour.
Here’s how it all went down. And it went down quickly:
Chris Terry at 7:24 of the third, assisted by Brett Sutter and Zack FitzGerald.
Sutter at 10:40, assisted by Bryan Rodney and Zac Dalpe.
Terry again on a deflection at 11:10, assisted by Jon Matsumoto and Zach Boychuk.
Finally, it was Zac Dalpe with the series-winning goal at 16:42, assisted by Sutter and Matthew Pistilli.
The Checkers were decided underdogs in this series, just as they were in the previous series against the defending Calder Cup champ Hershey Bears. Now, they’ll be the favored team, the “home” team in the Eastern Conference final against the Binghamton Senators. The AHL, in conjunction with the Senators and the Checkers, has announced the schedule for the ECF:
Game 1 – Thu., May 12 – Binghamton at Charlotte, 7:05
Game 2 – Fri., May 13 – Binghamton at Charlotte, 7:05
Game 3 – Tue., May 17 – Charlotte at Binghamton, 7:05
Game 4 – Wed., May 18 – Charlotte at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 21 – Charlotte at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., May 23 – Binghamton at Charlotte, 7:05
*Game 7 – Tue., May 24 – Binghamton at Charlotte, 7:05
Dalpe is leading all rookies and is sixth in the AHL playoffs with 12 (5/7) points in 12 games played. Sutter is tenth in the league with 11 (4/7) points.
Mike Murphy didn’t have his best game, but it was still pretty good. His save percentage of .944 is still good enough to be best in the league at this point of the playoff season. In the next round, he’ll face fellow rookie Robin Lehner of the B-Sens, who has a 7-2 record, a GAA of 2.59 and a save percentage of .926.
B-Sens centerman Ryan Potulny has put up an astonishing 19 (10/9) points in 13 games. Potulny, who is 26, was drafted in the third round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He’s played for four different NHL teams and has a total of 126 NHL games under his belt. Last season, he played 64 games for the Oilers, putting up 32 (15/17) points. Ryan Keller, a 27-year old, is the B-Sens second leading scorer. He has 16 (6/10) points.
Charlotte and Binghamton split their season series, but of course none of that matters now.
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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.