Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: ahl playoffs
On Tuesday night the Binghamton Senators handed the Charlotte Checkers a thorough 7-1 beating and have taken a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series for the Eastern Conference Championship in the Calder Cup playoffs. The BSens have two chances to close out the series on their own home ice. None of the three games so far has even been close.
Zack Smith led the way for the BSens, netting a hat trick. Bobby Sanguinetti scored the only goal of the game (in fact the only goal since game one) for the Checkers.
On Thursday night, the Checkers opened their Eastern Conference final series against the Binghamton Senators with a 7-4 loss. The seven goals against matched the total goals against in the first five games of the six-game series against WBS Penguins. Suffice to say, Mike Murphy didn’t bring his “A” game. He gave up five goals on just 15 shots before being relieved by Justin Pogge midway through the second period.
Despite outshooting the B-Sens 40-22, the Checkers just didn’t have what it took in this game. Charlotte surrendered a shorthanded goal and a power play goal. They did manage to score two power play goals of their own, but every time they climbed to within one goal, the B-Sens widened their lead.
Thirteen different Senators and nine different Checkers registered at least one point.
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:
Brad Thiessen of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Mike Murphy of the Charlotte Checkers have been playing an outstanding series against each other. They are the first and second ranked goalies in every statistical category, and their numbers get better every game. Charlotte won game one 3-2. WBS won game two 3-0. After that, it’s been a goaltending clinic on both sides of the ice. Charlotte won game three 2-1 in overtime, and they won game four 1-0. Tonight, WBS turned the tables and took game five by the same 1-0 score.
It’s a real shame that few people will be experiencing this brilliant duel since, you know, it’s the American League.
Mike Murphy had his shutout streak snapped at 161 minutes 11 seconds when Chris Collins tipped a Bryan Lerg shot at 8:54 of the third. The tip, high in the slot, looked like it might have been with a high stick, but the play never even went under review.
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.
On Saturday night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins squashed the Charlotte Checkers 3-0 in game two of the East Division finals of the 2011 AHL Calder Cup playoffs. Charlotte won game one 3-2 on Thursday to swipe home-ice advantage from the Pens. With the series tied at one, the next three games will be at Charlotte’s Time-Warner Cable Arena. Tonight, Wednesday and Friday. The guarantee of three home games is good for the team, good for the arena, good for the city. It’s not the same impact that home games at the RBC Center would have for Raleigh and the Canes, but it’s still quite good.
I expect tonight’s crowd to be somewhere around 3,500. Wednesday’s should be somewhere around 3,000. I wouldn’t be surprised if Friday’s crowd pushes 6,000.
The shutout loss on Saturday obviously put an end to Zach Boychuk’s seven game scoring streak. It was the first time since a 2-0 loss at Worcester on March 5 that the Checkers have been blanked in a game.