Slow Start Dooms Rivermen Against Checkers
Opponent: Charlotte Checkers
Date: February 17, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Score(Home/Away): 2-4 L
The Charlotte Checkers scored three times in the opening 14:59 on their way to a 4-2 win over the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night at Carver Arena. Evgeny Grachev and T.J. Hensick scored third period goals but the Rivermen were never closer than a two-goal deficit.
The loss stopped Peoria’s three-game winning streak and moved Charlotte to seven points ahead of Peoria for the Midwest Division lead. The Rivermen now stand at 27-22-2-1.
It took Charlotte just 53 seconds to score the first goal of the game. Zac Dalpe redirected a pass on goal from just outside the slot and swatted his own rebound out of the air and into the net for his 13th of the year.
Exactly three minutes later the Checkers Zach Boychuk snapped a shot past the glove of Allen from the left faceoff dot to make the score 2-0. The goal was Boychuk’s 14th of the year and was assisted by Brett Sutter.
Justin Shrugg’s second goal of the season gave Charlotte a 3-0 lead with just over five minutes to play in the first. Shrugg received a behind the back pass from Justin Soryal and backhanded the puck over the left shoulder of Allen, off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
After a scoreless second period the Rivermen broke onto the score sheet 32 seconds into the third period. Evgeny Grachev flew into the offensive zone, along the right wing boards, and stuffed the puck between the legs of John Muse for his third goal of the year. Adam Cracknell and Cade Fairchild earned assists on the play.
At the 4:45 mark of the third period the Checkers regained their three-goal lead when Michal Jordan scored his fourth of the year off of a two-on-one rush. Hensick had the response just 18 seconds later with his 19th of the year.
Charlotte outshot Peoria 30-28 while neither team was able to score on the power play. Allen made 26 saves in his first start since Jan. 28 while Muse improved to 9-2-0 with his 26 saves.