A once very promising season came to an end on Saturday night as the Charlotte Checkers lost the deciding game of their playoff series to the Oklahoma City Barons, 6-2 at Time Warner Arena. The home team outshot the visitors 51-28, but still came up on the short side on the scoreboard.
After taking a 2-1 lead in the series, the Checkers lost the previous night by an 8-1 score as the Barons forced a deciding game with emphasis.
When the season started, Charlotte coach Jeff Daniels was rotating the goalie tandem of Justin Peters and Dan Ellis and things were going very well. The plan was that one of those goalies would be staying in the AHL, but after the injury to Cam Ward, these same two were taking turns in Raleigh and plans had to change in Charlotte.
The team brought in John Muse and Rob Madore, and after an injury had to sign Mike Murphy, who left the organization after last season.
The goalies had a rough time of it in this series:
Murphy allowed four goals in just 34 minutes of ice time and posted a save percentage of .800.
Muse, (who most likely was still injured) played just 26 minutes, (all in game five) and allowed one goal while posting a .917 save percentage.
Madore saw the bulk of action and allowed 16 goals in 240 minutes while posting a .881 save percentage.
With Cam Ward not getting any younger, look for the Hurricanes to be carefully examining goalies in the upcoming draft.
Zach Boychuk led the team in post season scoring with three goals and three assists in five games. Brody Sutter was right behind him with two goals and three assists. Zac Dalpe did not register a single point in the five games.
Rookie defenseman Ryan Murphy played in all five games and had two assists while finishing with a (+/-)+1. Danny Biega had two assists in three games and also had a +1. Look for these young blueliners in training camp next fall.
For more details and information about the Checkers, go to Go Checkers.com and Paul Branecky will have game recaps and quotes.