Sunday, May 8, 2011


WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Zac Dalpe capped off a four-goal, third-period comeback that sent the Charlotte Checkers past the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a 4-3 score on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.  With the loss, the Penguins are eliminated from the postseason and the Checkers will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to take on the Binghamton Senators.

The scoreless first period theme held true once again, as both teams skated to the dressing room with nothing on the scoreboard.  But it was the Checkers who had the best chance to get on the scoreboard when they were handed a two-man advantage that lasted for one minute.  But timely saves from Brad Thiessen and two key clears by Corey Potter kept the Checkers off of the board.

The Penguins finally got on the scoreboard in the second period when Robert Bortuzzo began a breakout play from his own zone, sending Ben Street and Ryan Craig off on a two-on-one rush.  Street took a shot from the right half-wall that was kicked out by Checkers netminder Mike Murphy, but Craig jumped to the rebound and lifted a shot over Murphy’s glove at 7:13.

Then for the first time all series, the Penguins solved the Checkers’ perfect penalty kill by tallying on a two-man advantage.  With Oskar Osala and Nicolas Blanchard in the penalty box, the Penguins began the power play with a faceoff win from Craig.  The puck came to Andrew Hutchinson at the left point, who passed across the blue line.  Corey Potter then unloaded a slap shot that changed direction in the slot and slipped past Murphy at 9:45, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead that they took to the intermission.

Joe Vitale electrified the crowd with a perfectly-placed wrist shot just 1:13 into the third period to extend the Penguins’ lead to 3-0, the Penguins’ first shorthanded goal of the playoffs.

But Charlotte orchestrated their comeback with four goals in a span of 9:18, beginning with Chris Terry’s first of two goals on the night.  His first came when he was uncovered, and he took a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot that sailed over Thiessen’s glove.

Brett Sutter cut the lead to 3-2 when he walked out from the right corner, waited for Thiessen to commit low, and took a wrist shot that got past Thiessen’s stick hand at 10:40.

The tying goal came just 30 seconds later when a shot from the right point deflected off of Terry’s skate and past Thiessen.

The Penguins took their timeout after the goal, but the Checkers just kept pressing and took the lead when Dalpe tapped in a pass from Sutter on a line rush at 16:42.

The Penguins were unable to get Thiessen to the bench for an extra attacker until the game had only 28 seconds remaining.

Thiessen finished with a record of 6-6 in the postseason, making 29 saves on the night.  Murphy earned the win with 32 saves on 35 shots.  The Penguins were 8-for-8 on the penalty kill and 1-for-6 on the power play.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chris Terry scored a power play goal at 2:01 of the third period and was all that goaltender Mike Murphy needed, as Terry’s goal was paired with Murphy’s 44 saves to help the Charlotte Checkers to a 1-0 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena in Game Four of the East Division Finals.

Both Penguins netminder Brad Thiessen and Murphy again turned in an impressive performance in goal.  Each team had two power play chances in the first period, but the penalty killing on both sides continued to dominate.  The Penguins had an apparent goal waved off when Ryan Craig chipped a loose puck underneath Murphy on the second power play chance, but the referee ruled incidental contact on Murphy.

The Penguins outshot the Checkers 14-11 after the first period.

The visitors’ best chance of the series to break a road power play drought came past the halfway point when they had 59 seconds of a two-man advantage.  A key block by Nicolas Blanchard on a Penguins point shot helped Brett Sutter return to the ice, and two saves by Murphy and a quick clear moments later capped off a gritty penalty kill by the Checkers.  The second period would end scoreless and chippy, with Corey Potter and Zach Boychuk earning double-minor penalties for roughing.

Keven Veilleux then took a penalty early in the third period which led to the Checkers’ goal.  The Penguins ultimately failed to clear the puck out of the defensive zone, and Bryan Rodney hurried the turnover to Terry at his left.  Terry’s wrist shot went through traffic and past Thiessen’s glove for the only goal of the contest.

Thiessen took the tough loss, giving up just one goal and making 31 saves to fall to 5-5 in the postseason.  Murphy improved to 6-2.

The Penguins ended the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.          

The Checkers now have a three games to one lead in the East Division Finals.

The two teams will face off for Game Five of the East Division Finals on Friday, May 6 at 7:00 pm at Time Warner Cable Arena.  If necessary, Game Six will be played back at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, May 7 at 7:05 pm.  Individual tickets are on sale at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, through any TicketMaster outlet, online at, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Ticket packages for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs are also currently available through the Penguins’ ticket offices by calling (570) 208-PENS.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The Penguins are preparing for tonight's Game Four against the Charlotte Checkers in the East Division Finals, and you can do the same by perusing tonight's game notes...