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December 19, 2013

Charlotte Slips Past Norfolk in the Third for 5-4 Win


CHARLOTTE, NC- Zach Boychuk scored twice to help lead the Charlotte Checkers to a 5-4 victory over the Norfolk Admirals Thursday evening at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Just as they did against the Admirals on Sunday, the Checkers registered the game’s first goal at 6:20 of the opening frame.

Brody Sutter led an odd man rush into the zone on the right wing side. Sutter directed the puck toward the net that actually hit off the stick of teammate Matt Marquardt on the back side of the crease. The puck clipped of the pad of Norfolk netminder John Gibson and bounced to the top of the crease where Sutter tapped it past Gibson for the marker. Sutter’s fourth of the season gave the Checkers a 1-0 lead after the first period.

The scoring opened up in the second, and the Checkers were able to build on their lead. Chris Terry centered a perfectly placed feed to Zach Boychuk on the backside of the crease. Boychuk buried the puck into the back of the net to put the Checkers on top by two.

Nearly 90 seconds later, Aaron Palushaj jabbed a bouncing puck in the crease past Gibson to extend the Charlotte lead to 3-0.

The Admirals got on the board at 12:30 of the middle frame, when Rickard Rakell centered a backhanded pass to Max Friberg in the slot. Friberg one-timed the puck past Checkers goaltender John Muse for his fifth goal of the season.

Just 29 seconds later, the Admirals struck again as Antoine Laganiere wristed a shot from just inside the slot that beat Muse on the glove side to pull Norfolk within one.

Later in the second, Laganiere factored on the tying goal, as he fielded a pass from Dave Steckel and wristed a shot that clipped off the cross-bar and into the net for the goal Laganiere’s second of the game put the score at 3-3 after 40 minutes played.

The Admirals continued to ride the momentum in the third period, and captured the lead at 8:40 of the final stanza. Devante Smith-Pelly put home a rebound off a Nolan Yonkman shot to give Norfolk the 4-3 edge.

The Checkers were able to get back on track after a power play goal by Boyckuk. Boychuk wristed a shot from the hash mark at the right wing circle and beat Gibson for his second goal of the contest to tie the game at four.

Charlotte reclaimed the lead just 33 seconds later, as Matt Marquardt broke to the front of the net and slid a soft backhand shot around Gibson to pull the Checkers ahead at13:03 of the third.

Norfolk was unable to orchestrate a second rally on the night, and fell by a 5-4 count. Muse earns his sixth consecutive win stopping 28 of 32 shots faced, while Gibson takes the loss allowing five goals on 31 shots. Norfolk falls to 13-10-1-4 on the season, while the Checkers (12-14-0-1) win their fourth straight.

The Admirals will now return home and open up a two-game weekend set at Scope on Friday against the Adirondack Phantoms. Friday's game is Salvation Army Night. Norfolk will close out the weekend on Saturday against the Phantoms. There will be a postgame skate with the Admirals players following Saturday’s contest.

Game tickets are now on sale, and are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.

For 10-packs, or discounted group tickets stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com

NOTES: With the win, Charlotte now takes the edge in the 2013-14 GEICO Challenge Cup. The Checkers have now collected four points, while the Admirals have three points in three games played between the two teams this season. There are five more head-to-head matchups remaining this season….Antoine Laganiere recorded his first career multi-point game scoring two goals.

Three Stars:
1. Zach Boychuk (CHA)
2. Nicholas Blanchard (CHA)
3. Antoine Laganiere (NOR)


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