Third period woes continue for Charlotte, but the Checkers defeat the IceHogs in the shootout

For the third time in six meetings, the Checkers and IceHogs had to take it to a shootout to determine the game winner.  Fortunately, Charlotte came out on top, and John Muse won his fifth game of the season.

In what has become a reoccurring theme for the home team, Charlotte went into the third period with a 3-1 advantage, and ended it with a trip to overtime, and ultimately, the shoot out. A friend commented to me that the Checkers need offense in the third period, and to not be so offensive.  I couldn’t have been more eloquent myself!

It was a night of special teams in Charlotte.  The Checkers, who began the night with the sixth-best power play in the league, went three for three on the evening, scoring a goal in each of their three opportunities, two by Riley Nash, and the third by Zac Dalpe.

Rockford holds the record of the 28th “best” penalty kill in the league, and it showed tonight.  The IceHogs struggled.  In four power play chances, they failed to score on the man advantage, however they had two even strength goals, something Charlotte was unable to get.

The IceHogs, who were on a four-game winning streak thanks in part to the exceptional play of goaltender Carter Hutton, scored three unanswered goals to tie the game by the end of regulation.  The Checkers had countless breakaway chances during the game, but Hutton prevented any of the pucks from finding the back of the net.

General observations about the game:

  • Nash’s power play goals in the first and second periods had identical lines, and obviously, the same goal scorer.  The 25-20-27 line is fan-freaking-tastic… though technically it was more of a 15-20-27 line, with a “D” pairing of Terry and Sanguinetti.

 

  • On that note, wow, Terry should play the point on every power play.  He’s got to be one of the most versatile players the Checkers have.
  • Pistilli served two minors that weren’t his during the first period.  He’s a player that has flashes of greatness.  He’s physical, he hustles, and has speed and scoring prowess, however he seems to consistently be one of the last guys on the Checkers depth chart.  Once one of the currently injured forwards can go, he may be the one to sit.
  • Rasmus Rissanen – He gains more confidence with each game.  He is more physical, and using his body more effectively.  With just half a season under his belt at the AHL level, he’s made huge strides, and continues to be a defensive asset each and every night.
  • John Muse has been fantastic in all of his starts this season, and is a true asset to the Checkers. While he lacks the speed and technique of Mike Murphy and Justin Peters (especially when it comes to his agility,or reading the puck), the bottom line is he gets it done when it matters, and with Peters in Raleigh for the unforeseen future, it is CRUCIAL that the Checkers have a confident, reliable backup for Mike Murphy.
  • Carter Hutton – In his first appearance tonight versus Charlotte was his seventh consecutive start.  Like John Muse, he was signed to a one-year deal with the AHL club, and after starting the season in the ECHL, has found himself a key player at the AHL level.  He has become the most reliable goaltender the IceHogs have, and recent play has made him a valuable asset.

 

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One thought on “Third period woes continue for Charlotte, but the Checkers defeat the IceHogs in the shootout

  1. They continued to show their take the foot off the gas a little bit approach once they have a lead. Rockford is going to come out hard against them tonight and if the Checkers are flat they could be in trouble.

    My only issue with Terry at the point on the PP is if the puck gets past him it usually spells trouble–I still have nightmares of the breakout short handed chances other teams have had–but for the offense you have to trade off somewhere.

    Pistilli is my favorite player but he needs to work on his speed in the off-season that is the one thing that holds him back. I did actually like the 4th line last night for the first time all year it looked like they could maybe score a legit goal. Jenks has some speed and pairing him with Pistilli had 2 big bodies out there. I think with the upcoming changes in Raleigh (trades etc…) coupled with Pistilli role on the PP and his shootout ability I dont see him sitting too much.

    Rissanen and Krueger are going to be beasts next year with more experience. They both have pretty good speed just need to refine their shot and learn when to shoot to avoid blocks at the blue-line.

    Muse is solid and I very glad the Checkers found this free agent before the season, really hope they resign him. Mainly just needs to work on the rebounds he gives up—Peters does the same thing.

    Boychuck and Dadonov on the same line is good and bad scary—you could see the offensive flashes and that could be a great combo but both are smallish and got knocked off the puck by big guys. I think Boychuck might be starting to get that he is really slipping on the Canes chart last hit he was hitting a little bit, skating harder and not floating as much defensively.

    PK unit looked real good last night pressured the puck well and almost had a couple of breakouts

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