The Oklahoma City Barons earned a split of a two-game series against the Charlotte Checkers with a 4-2 victory Monday at Time Warner Cable Arena. But that wasn’t the only bad news for the Checkers.
American Hockey League All-Star goalie Justin Peters was recalled by the Carolina Hurricanes earlier in the day. Carolina goalie Cam Ward was injured Sunday night and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Second-year goalie John Muse now will be the go-to goalie for the Checkers and will have big shoes to fill. Peters, who was 22-12-0-1, will be missed.
The Checkers roster has been decimated the past six weeks. The end of the NHL lockout, injuries to the parent Hurricanes and their own injuries have been culprits in an ever-changing roster.
Only 11 Charlotte players who started the season were in Monday’s lineup. To their credit, the Checkers have been able to hold their place in the AHL’s South Division.
Charlotte (33-19-2-3) was outplayed Sunday but was able to scratch out a 3-2 win. It was not that fortunate Monday.
When asked what positives he could draw from Monday’s loss, Charlotte coach Jeff Daniels replied, “Nope, none.”
The Barons “were the better team tonight and it showed out there,” he said.
The teams combined for five goals during the first 20 minutes, and Oklahoma City got the early advantage.
The Barons (27-21-2-5) scored just 52 seconds into the game as Josh Green ripped a shot from deep in the right-wing circle past Muse for a 1-0 Oklahoma City advantage.
The Checkers roared back with two goals, both by defensemen, with in a 1-minute, 30-second span to take their only lead of the game at 2-1.
Marc-Andre Gragnani snuck in from the point and beat Barons goalie Niko Hovinen, and Bobby Raymond barreled toward the net and knocked in his third goal of the season.
Charlotte next will play Wednesday at Norfolk before returning to Time Warner Cable Arena to start a five-game homestand Saturday against Houston.
First Period–1, Oklahoma City, Green 8 (Fedun, Martindale), 0:52. 2, Charlotte, Gragnani 2 (Marquardt, Pither), 10:15 (pp). 3, Charlotte, Raymond 3 (Rutherford, Sutter), 11:46. 4, Oklahoma City, Stretch 2 (Rajala, Clark), 13:43. 5, Arcobello, 16 (Cornet, Tyrvainen), 19:26. Penalties–Marincin, OC (tripping), 2:17; Byers, OC (delay of game), 2:23; Gragnani, C (interference), 6:47.
Second Period–6, Oklahoma City, Cornet 8 (Clark, Teubert), 10:17. Penalties–Pither, C (cross-checking), 2:27. Arcobello, OC (tripping), 17:19; Gragnani, C (slashing), 17:52.
Third Period–None. Penalties–Bellemore, C (elbowing), 1:37; Cheechoo, OC (tripping), 5:52; Hunter, OC (interference), 9:05.
Shots on goal–Oklahoma City 5-12-8–25. Charlotte 10-1-7–18. Goalies–Oklahoma City, Hovinen 4-1-1 (18 shots-16 saves), Charlotte, Muse 3-2-0 (25-21). Att.–3,686 (at Charlotte).