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Checkers prepare for quarterfinals

April 11, 2005 - ECHL (ECHL) - Charlotte Checkers News Release

CHARLOTTE, NC – This week, the Charlotte Checkers (39-26-7; 85 PTS; 3RD East Div) concluded their regular season, seeded seventh for the playoffs. The Checkers finished up a five game road trip with a loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators on Tuesday night. The Checkers kicked off their final regular season home weekend friday with a victory over the Greenville Grrrowl. On Saturday night, Charlotte faced division rivals the South Carolina Stingrays. After finishing regulation with a tied score, the Checkers lost the battle to the Rays in a shootout. On Wednesday, the Checkers begin their quest for the Kelly Cup playing a best-of-five series against the Columbia Inferno.

LAST WEEK

Tuesday, April 5, at Gwinnett, L 3-2

Juris Stals and Jason Dawe scored for Charlotte, with Stals extended his goal-scoring streak to four games while lighting the lamp in six of his last eight games. Goalie Kelly Guard was credited with the defeat making 26 saves. The Checkers took the lead in the first period as Rory Rawlyk passed to Stals, who tipped the puck by Gwinnett goalie for a 1-0 Charlotte lead. The Gladiators came back to tie the game at 15:58 on a power play. In the second period the Gladiators took a 3-1 lead with two power play goals. Charlotte turned up their efforts in the third period and got to within one goal at 3-2 when Dawe tipped in Rawlyk's shot from the point with 56 seconds left in the game. Although the Checkers outshot Gwinnett 15-2 in the third period, the Gladiators hung on for the 3-2 victory.

Friday, April 8, vs. Greenville, W 4-1 Dusty Jamieson stepped up and scored his 30th goal of the season on a two man advantage with 1:54 remaining in the first period. The Checkers outshot the Grrrowl 15-2 in the first period. Greenville answered in the second tying the game 1-1 at 18:50 of the period. The score remained tied through the second, and the Checkers once again outshot the Grrrowl 13-9. After two relatively slow periods of play, Charlotte came out strong in the third period. Juris Stals scored for his fifth game in a row, just 2:05 into the third period. Less than a minute later, Jamieson took a pass from Dwight Helminen and scored his second goal of the evening. The Checkers continued their assault on the Grrrowl when Stals lit the lamp with the help of Ryan Cuthbert at 13:06 of the period securing the 4-1 victory against Greenville.

Saturday, April 9, vs. South Carolina, T 5-6 SO Charlotte’s Bogdan Rudenko drew first blood at the 10:03 mark of the first. Less than three minutes later, Jason Dawe scored for the Checkers. In the waning moments of the first period, the Stingrays snuck a pass behind Checkers goalie Alex Westlund to end the period 2-1. The Stingrays momentum continued as they notched a score just 1:48 into the second period. Rudenko fed Lee Falardeau for the Checkers third bell-ringer. The Checkers retired the second period up 3-2. The Rays scored at 3:17 of the third period to tie the game 3-3. A 1:35 later, Ryan Glenn scored to once again put the Checkers ahead of the Rays. Thomas Bellemare gave the Checkers a two goal lead at 10:54 but South Carolina scored just 65 seconds later to make the score 5-4. With four minutes left in the period the Stingrays tied up the game at 5-5 and sent the two teams into overtime. At the end of a scoreless 5:00 minute overtime session, Charlotte and South Carolina engaged in a shootout. Ryan Cuthbert had a goal for the Checkers, but the Stingrays struck twice giving them the shootout victory.

THIS WEEK

Practice Schedule:

Monday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. (Times are subject to change)

American Conference Quarterfinals (Best-of-Five Series):

Wednesday, April 13, at Columbia, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 15, at Columbia, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 16, vs. Columbia, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 17, vs. Columbia, 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20, at Columbia, 7:30 p.m.

CHECKERS NEWS

· The Checkers finished the regular season third in the East Division with 85 points. They are seventh in the American conference, and are sixteenth in the league overall.

· Team points leader, Eddie Pershin is tied for twelfth leading scorer in the league with 25 goals and 42 assists for 67 points. He is tied for first in the league for shorthanded assists (4).

· Juris Stals leads the team in points over the last ten games with 12 points

(11g-1a).

· Alex Westlund is fifth in the league in minutes played (2932) and fifth in saves (1367).

· Lee Falardeau is tied for first in the league with five game winning goals on the season.

· Dwight Helminen leads the league in shorthanded assists (3), while Ryan Glenn leads the defensemen in shorthanded goals (2).

· Defenseman, Thomas Bellemare, is tied for fourth leading rookie in the league for major penalties with 19 on the season.

· Regan Darby is fourth leading defenseman in the league for penalty minutes with 250 on the season. He is fourth among defensemen for minor penalties with 55 minutes.

CHECKERS LEADERS

Goals: Dusty Jamieson (31)

Assists: Eddie Pershin (42)

Points: Eddie Pershin (67)

Plus/Minus: Dusty Jamieson (+13)

PIM: Regan Darby (250)

Wins: Alex Westlund (27)

GAA: Alex Westlund (2.72)

Save Pct.: Alex Westlund (.911)


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