The Charlotte Checkers ended their four-game home stand this past Friday, November 9, with a 4-2 win against the Peoria Rivermen; this win came after the Checkers defeated the Rivermen 5-4 in overtime at home the night before. The Charlotte Checkers are off to their best start in franchise history, and currently hold a 9-3-0-1 record (19 overall points) which is the best in the American Hockey League.
The Checkers defeated the Rivermen 5-4 in overtime behind two goals from forward Zach Boychuk (including the game-winner on a breakaway 1:15 into the overtime period). The Peoria Rivermen got the scoring started early in the first period with a goal from center Anthony Nigro, his first of the season, with assists from defender Cade Fairchild and forward Anthony Peluso; the goal came a mere 2:48 into the first period. The Checkers responded promptly, scoring a quick 51 seconds later to even the score at 1-1. Checkers' forward Zach Boychuk took a pass high in the slot in front of the net from center Riley Nash and beat the Rivermen's starting goaltender Jake Allen high on the glove side. The goal was Boychuk's seventh of the season.
The Charlotte Checkers took a 2-1 advantage on the powerplay 8:47 into the second period on a rebound goal from Zac Dalpe. Riley Nash fired a shot from the blue-line off a pass from Chris Terry that deflected off Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen but was redirected back into the net by Dalpe for his third goal of the season. The assist from Riley Nash was his second assist of the game.
The Rivermen took a 3-2 lead with two goals in a 2:19 span at the end of the second period. Anthony Peluso took a centering pass from center T.J. Hensick and beat starting Checkers' goaltender Justin Peters low to tie the game 2-2; the goal was Peluso's fourth of the season (and second scoring point of the game). The Rivermen took a 3-2 lead 2:19 later when defenseman Ian Cole took a pass from Mark Cundari and beat Peters with a low snapshot to the glove side, the goal was Cole's first of the season and came on the powerplay.
Jeremy Welsh and Drayson Bowman both scored for the Checkers in the third period to give them a 4-3 lead, Welsh's goal was his third of the season while Bowman's goal was his team-leading tenth of the season, but the Rivermen struck late and tied the score at 4-4 with a goal by right-wing Derek Nesbitt with 4:58 remaining. The Charlotte Checkers were victorious in overtime though, when forward Zach Boychuk broke away from everyone and beat Jake Allen low with a quick slapshot to give the Checkers a 5-4 overtime win. The goal was Boychuk's eighth of the season, second of the game, and came 1:05 into the overtime period.
The Charlotte Checkers continued their success the following night with a 4-2 victory over the Rivermen behind two goals from left-wing Chris Terry. The Rivermen got the scoring started midway through the first on the powerplay with a goal from defenseman Taylor Chorney; the goal was Chorney's first of the season, assisted by T.J. Hensick, and came 11:25 into the first period.
The Checkers tied the game 8:52 into the second period off a goal from Zack Boychuk, his ninth of the season. Boychuk took an across ice pass from Riley Nash and fired a quick shot past the Rivermen's starting goaltender Mike McKenna to tie the score 1-1. The Rivermen answered a mere 13 seconds later when Derek Nesbitt took a pass from T.J. Hensick and beat the Checkers' starting goaltender Dan Ellis to give the Rivermen a 2-1 lead; the goal was Nesbitt's third of the season.
The Charlotte Checkers would regain the lead for good at the end of the second period with two goals from Chris Terry, both goals were scored 3:55 apart. Terry's first goal came on the powerplay 14:10 into the second period, when he took a pass from Bobby Sanguinetti and buried a shot from the blue-line to tie the game 2-2. Chris Terry scored 3:55 later, when he took a lead pass from forward Zac Dalpe and fired a quick shot past McKenna to give the Checkers a 3-2 lead. The goals were Terry's seventh and eighth of the season.
The Checkers got an insurance goal from defender Justin Faulk 5:16 into the third period to give the team a 4-2 lead. Faulk tapped in the rebound on a Nicolas Blanchard shot hat came in from the wing to record his third goal of the season. Starting Charlotte Checkers goaltender Dan Ellis recorded 22 saves on 24 shots faced. The Charlotte Checkers play again Friday, November 16 in San Antonio, Texas against the San Antonio Stampede.
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