The one about the phenomenal Michael Murphy and his SHUTOUT in game four

Mike Murphy, first star! Photo Credit: Jenni Propst

You know that feeling you get sometimes where you wake up and you just know it’s going to be a good day? That is how I felt yesterday morning. After a night of horrible thunder storms, I awoke to birds chirping and a Carolina blue sky. I KNEW it was going to be a good day. My parents were coming to Charlotte to see the game, their first Checkers game together since 1965, when they were in high school and paid 75 cents each for a ticket.

I knew it was going to be a good night.

We got to the arena, and even before warmups, I just had that feeling. Adrenaline was pumping, my heart was beating just a little too fast, and I just knew it was going to be a good night.

The crowd was electric from the very beginning. We heard the first MURPHY chant midway through the second period after he killed a five-on-three. Hearing his name, chanted by thousands, was so phenomenal, and I think it just fueled him further. The Penguins continued to attack, but nothing they could do would get through the crease. Mike Murphy was ON tonight. His team was behind him and there was nothing that could stop the Checkers from winning.

The Penguins fought hard. They had 44 shots on goal, and Murphy stopped every one of them. The Checkers had 32 shots on goal, but only the one by Chris Terry early on in the third counted. It only takes one, and Terryiffic provided it when we needed it.

I actually wrote everything up until now last night at the bar after the game… but then people started buying shots, and the beer kept flowing (and they had Smithwicks on tap!  Yum!) and I had to put the iPad away, for fear of spilling beer on it, or letting the beer spill into my brain and make the typing fuzzy.  So now that I’m awake, and a bit more clear headed, I can refer back to the few notes I took on the game, and the few observations:

  • Another scrum between the Checkers and Penguins. Photo Credit: Jenni Propst

    As I mentioned, Mike Murphy was phenomenal.  Stopping all 44 of the Pens shots was a feat few goaltenders could have accomplished.  He was driven into the net time and time again, with Penguins attacking, sometimes after the whistle blew.

  • There were many moments in the game both teams got frantic, and I just wanted them to settle down and make plays.  Frantic hockey often leads to mistakes, in my opinion!
  • Too many penalties!  Both teams had a too many men penalty, which I believe was a result of the aforementioned frantic play.  There were 18 minors called last night, and the lone goal scored was on the power play.
  • Jacob Micflikier was constantly in the thick of battles for the puck.  That guy can be an aggressive beast (much like a honey badger!) and I love it.
  • Erik Cole was was sitting behind me for much of the game.  I hope he enjoyed himself as much as I did!  I love Hockey in the springtime!
  • We are running out of room in the “press box” for our black aces.  Bobby Goepfert was sporting the exact same suit, tie and shirt last night as Monday.  And you know what?  As someone who wore the same jersey/shoes/clothes to the game last night as Monday, I can TOTALLY get behind that kind of superstition.
  • I didn’t hear any “Thiessen Sucks” chants last night (cause he doesn’t!).  I did however hear (and join in!) on MURPHY chants.  I would much rather support our netminder than mock the other one.  Let’s do this, Charlotte!  I want to hear a MURPHY chant after the anthem on Friday, and keep it going.  Seriously.  MURPHY.
  • My head is a little throbby from doing a celebratory shot after the game, but how can you turn down a baby Guinness???
So… it’s all about tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a huge game.  We all know what it means, and what can happen if we win.  But beating the Pens for a third straight game could be a huge feat.  They have one of the best goaltenders in the AHL (of course, so do we!), and a team that knows how to win, and wants it as badly as we do.  Last night was an amazing game… tomorrow has just as much potential, if the team can control the Penguins as they did last night.
I’m still flying from that win… THIS is Checkers Hockey!
Lets Go Checkers!

One thought on “The one about the phenomenal Michael Murphy and his SHUTOUT in game four

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