In the first few weeks of the 2015-16 season for the Charlotte Checkers, one of the main focuses that he team wanted to address is the goaltending game, and for Drew MacIntyre, he has been the reason why the Checkers have been doing pretty well on their season-long 10-game road trip away from Bojangles’ Coliseum. In tonight’s game, he was the star of the show for Charlotte, making 36 saves in regulation, and overtime, and stopping all 3 Rockford IceHogs shots, to help the Checkers skate away with a 2-1 win, improving them to 5-3-0 on the road trip, and the season so far.
The first two periods of action were a goalies battle, as MacIntyre and Rockford goalie Michael Leighton would manage to keep the score at 0-0 through 40 minutes of play.
Derek Ryan would put the first goal on the board for either team, after Phil Di Giuseppe intercepted a pass between defensemen in the Rockford zone and quickly dished it to Ryan for his team-leading fifth goal of the year at 13:48 to give the Checkers a 1-0 lead. That goal snapped a scoreless streak of 114:29 for Charlotte, dating back to a 3-0 shutout loss to the Chicago Wolves back on Sunday, and dating back to David Wohlberg’s empty net goal two days earlier in Grand Rapids.
Charlotte had a good shot of holding on to winning this one, but it would be evaporated after an interference penalty was assessed to Drayson Bowman with four minutes remaining in the game. With 1:28 left in regulation, Ryan Hartman would pick up a last-minute deflection off a shot from Jeremy Morin to tie it up at 1-1, ending the Checkers hope of a shutout since April 10th, 2014.
Neither team would record a goal in overtime, and the game would eventually be decided in a shootout, as T.J. Hensick would score the lone goal in the frame, while MacIntyre would stop all 3 attempts from Rockford to preserve the win. Next up for the Checkers, a visit to Cleveland to take on the Lake Erie Monsters for games on Thursday and on Halloween night, before returning home for the historic reopening of Bojangles’ Coliseum next Saturday against the Manitoba Moose.
NOTES: MacIntyre leads the AHL in minutes played this season with 428…Charlotte has now scored eight goals in their last four games(2.00 average), after scoring 21 goals in their first four games of the season…Erik Karlsson and Tyler Ganly were health scratches for the Checkers, while forward Justin Shugg missed the game due to an injury.