Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Checkers fall after goal in final moments is disallowed

With 19 seconds remaining in regulation and the Checkers trailing the Norfolk Admirals 4-3, Brett Sutter netted the game-tying goal. However, instead of taking the puck to center ice, the referees instead convened and chose to waive off the goal.

Though there was nothing about Sutter's goal -- which appeared to be his second of the game -- that appeared illegal, referees explained that they had called coincidental minor penalties on Zach Boychuk and the Admirals' Dave Steckel, who had gotten tangled up along the wall during the play.

Moments after play had resumed, the Admirals added to the heartbreak by scoring an empty-netter with five seconds on the clock to hand the Checkers their second loss in a row, 5-3, in front of 3,072 at Scope Arena.

After allowing the go-ahead goal with a little over four minutes to play in Sunday's 3-2 loss to Lake Erie, the Checkers again let points slip away in the third period on Wednesday, allowing Norfolk's Devante Smith-Pelly to net the game-winner with 1:58 to play.

Chris Terry, Matt Marquardt and Sutter scored for the Checkers, while John Muse -- who entered the game on a personal five-game winning streak -- stopped 23 of 27 shots to take the loss.

With both Oklahoma City and Rockford off on Wednesday, the Checkers remained in 10th place, four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference (and one point behind the ninth-placed Barons).

Terry, who spent Monday playing with the Carolina Hurricanes, returned to the Checkers lineup and got the scoring started with just three seconds remaining in the first period, when he redirected a shot from Michal Jordan.

The Admirals tied the game at, 1-1, less than two minutes into the second period. A goal with less than seven minutes to play in the frame by Marquardt, made it look like the Checkers would take a 2-1 edge into the third. However, two Admirals goals in the span of 13 seconds, beginning at the 16:55 mark changed the complexion of the game.

Brett Sutter pulled the Checkers even with the Admirals at the 7:42 mark in the third period, setting up the tense final minutes.

The Checkers have 13 games remaining on their schedule. They'll now return to Time Warner Cable Arena this Friday and Sunday where they'll face the San Antonio Rampage.

Notes: Chris Terry has now scored goals in four straight AHL games and has a five-game point streak overall (4g, 2a). ... Brett Sutter also extended his current point streak to five games (4g, 4a). ... The Checkers finished up their season-series 5-3-0 against Norfolk to win their second consecutive GEICO Challenge Cup. ... Checkers forwards Greg Nemisz and Brendan Woods missed the game due to injury.


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