Checkers storm back to win in shootout over Iowa, remain unbeaten

Entering the third period of today’s game, the Charlotte Checkers had their backs to the wall with the Iowa Wild leading 4-1, but they would have to bear down big time if they wanted to mount a huge comeback, and they did just that, tying it in regulation to send it into overtime, before prevailing in a shootout to come out of Des Moines with a 5-4 win on the afternoon, as Charlotte goes to 2-0-0-0 on the season.

Charlotte would jump out to an early 1-0 advantage in the first period, when Justin Shugg would get his first goal of the season at the 8:01 mark of the frame, which would be that way at the end of the first 20 minutes of action.

Later in the second period, the Wild would storm back to even things up at 1-1, as Brady Brassart would score the first of his 2 goals on the afternoon, and Iowa would take the lead courtesy of Christoph Bertschy’s goal at 10:42, when the Wild was a man down after Michael Keranen was called for slashing, to give them a 2-1 lead.  Brassart would find the back of the net a few moments later to increase the lead to 3-1, entering the third and final period of action.

After Jordan Schroeder’s goal to give the Wild a 4-1 edge, it would signal the end of the day for Drew MacIntyre(19 saves on 23 shots), and Rasmus Tirronen would have to come in relief for the Checkers to possibly inspire the team to mount a comeback.

The comeback would begin on a power-play chance for Charlotte, and they would capitalize on that opportunity at 10:53, when Derek Ryan netted his first North American goal to cut it down to 4-2, and Brett Pesce would join in on the act with a goal of his own at 16:28 to make it a little more interesting for both, Charlotte and Iowa.  With less than 1:36 remaining in regulation, it was do or die time for the Checkers as once again, they went on what would be a pivotal power-play(CHA finished the game going 2-for-6 on the man advantage).  Trevor Carrick would deliver the equalizing goal as he blasted his shot through the point through traffic and found its way past Wild goaltender Jeremy Smith to knot it at 4-4 at 18:24.

Both teams would not score in the 3-on-3 overtime period, meaning that the game would have to be settled in a shootout.

Charlotte would get goals from newcomers Sergey Tolchinsky and T.J. Hensick in the shootout, while Tirronen would turn away the attempts from Zack Mitchell and Bertschy, as the Checkers would finish off the Wild in a shootout by the final score of 5-4(CHA wins shootout 2-0).

Now the Checkers will be off for a few days, as the team will head back to practice this week before hitting the road again on Friday to face the Milwaukee Admirals.

NOTE: This only marks the second time in Charlotte’s 6 seasons in the American Hockey League(since 2010-11) that the Checkers started a season 2-0-0-0…Defenseman Danny Biega was reassigned to Charlotte after last night’s Carolina Hurricanes game.