CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Despite scoring an early goal on their first shot of the contest, the Checkers couldn't muster enough firepower to stop the Florida Everblades as they lost by a score of 6-3.
The Checkers started the scoring early when forward Ryan Murphy sent a pass through the middle of the ice inside the Everblades zone to Peter Tsimikalis who slid the puck between the legs of Florida netminder David Leggio at 1:20 giving a 1-0 lead to the Checkers. Florida answered right back when Ernie Hartleib rifled a one-time shot over the catching glove of Charlotte goalie Maxime Daigneault at 3:01. Florida took their first lead of the game on the power play after defenseman Aaron Brocklehurst snapped a sharp angle shot from the right wing and tucked it inside the far post and behind Daigneault putting the Everblades up 2-0 at 7:14. The Checkers would score a power play goal of their own after rookie centerman Tomas Zaborsky found a loose puck in the crease on a Mike Bayrack shot and slipped it past the goal-line at 13:55. This tied the contest at 2-2 but the Everblades wouldn’t be down long thanks to Kevin Baker’s shot on a nice pass from former Checker Mark Lee which went past Daigneault putting the Everblades up 3-2 at the end of twenty minutes of action.
The second period brought another power play goal for the Everblades as Dannick Bouchard scored at 9:35 stretching the Everblades lead to 4-2.
In the final period, Bouchard would find the back of the net once again extending the Everblades lead to 5-2 at 1:34 on a breakaway roofing the puck over the blocker side on Daigneault. Later, while the Checkers were on the man advantage, Florida defenseman Jonathan Paiement battled for a loose puck at center ice and skated in on Daigneault but was hauled down which got him awarded a penalty shot. Paiement faked forhand and slid the puck just under the left pad of the Checkers netminder putting the Everblades up 6-2. Charlotte would add a late power-play goal by Tsimikalis closing the gap to 6-3 but the Everblades would skate away with the victory by that same score.
Both teams will battle each other once again tomorrow night in Florida at 7:30 p.m.
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