By: Ashton Townsend
ROCHESTER, NY-- A scrappy game goes the Charlotte Checkers way as they defeat the Rochester Americans 6-1. The Checkers snapped their three-game losing streak as the Amerks dropped their second in a row.
The first period got off to a hot start for the Amerks as off the opening faceoff they flew down the ice and hit the post. After that, Amerk Chris Jandric was hit with a hooking penalty 2:06 into the game and the Checkers capitalized 52 seconds into the powerplay. Brendan Perlini grabbed his third goal of the season to put the Checkers up 1-0. 1st assist went to Rasmus Asplund (8) and the 2nd assist went to Gerry Mayhew (8).
Within the first five minutes, the Checkers led the Amerks in shots on goal five to one. But 6:38 into the game the Amerks tied it up. A pass from behind the net by Brett Murray found team captain Michael Mersch's stick and he one-timed it for his third goal of the year.
Under two minutes later Checker Riley Bezeau found the back of the net beating Amerks goalie Dustin Tokarski, glove-side. The rest of the first period was less eventful as it ended 2-1 in the Checkers' favor. They also held an 11-6 shots on goal advantage.
The Amerks had another firey period start in the second, hitting the post on a breakaway 50 seconds in. They had a powerplay chance 1:18 into the period but only managed one shot on goal in the powerplay.
The second period was full of penalties as each team had one more powerplay in the period but nothing came about.
The Checkers went into the locker room with a 2-1 lead and with 22 shots on goal to the Amerks 15.
The third period was full of penalties as well. But before that fun began the Checkers got on the board to extend their lead to 3-1 as Brendan Perlini grabbed his fourth goal of the year and his second of the night.
The penalties began as the Checkers picked one up 5:53 into the third. The Amerks powerplay struggles continued, not recording a shot on net.
8:03 into the third the Amerks recorded a tripping penalty, but 1:40 later the Checkers also had a penalty called on them for hooking. After the four-on-four concluded, for 20 seconds it was the Amerks turn on the powerplay again. 18 seconds into the powerplay a controversial call was made involving a sequence where it seemed like the Amerks had scored, but no goal was called by the officials and Blue Cross Arena did not like the call.
"Our guy pushed the pad across the line," Amerks coach Seth Appert was told. "They probably made the right call."
After the controversy, the Checkers added three more to their two-goal lead including another one by Brendan Perlini. Shot into an empty net was his fifth goal of the year and third of the evening. After the empty netter, BCA let the Amerks hear it.
"Obviously this crowd has been very supportive all year, but sometimes you deserve boo's," Mersch said.
The begininng of the game had a playoff atmosphere but the Checkers sucked the life out of the arena. The game would end in a 6-1 win for the Checkers on the back of their four-goal third period.