The Charlotte Checkers got one of their biggest wins of the season Sunday, nipping the conference-leading Texas Stars 3-2 with an overtime goal by left wing Chris Terry at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Shadowed by Texas defenders, Terry skated around the right circle before launching the puck about 10 feet from the side of the net. The puck went in between the right goalpost and goalie Jack Campbells body. Terry later said he saw it cross the goal line.
But Texas disputed the goal and referee Fred Lablanc spent several minutes reviewing video before affirming the Charlotte score.
The victory broke a three-game skid, avenged Saturday nights 7-3 loss to the Stars and gave the Checkers their first win over Texas in five games. Texas leads the American Hockey Leagues Western Conference with 80 points while the Checkers moved into second place in the conference with 77 points.
I thought for 60 minutes we had an honest effort, worked hard and got rewarded, said coach Jeff Daniels. It was one of the most hard-fought wins we had this year...We came back after a tough defeat, playing a top team in the league.
The fast-paced game was marked by frequent breakaways and intense play along the boards.
It was a playoff type of game out there, Daniels said.
Charlottes lineup included 11 players who started the season in the ECHL, a step below the American Hockey League; 10 other players remain on the injured list.
Terry returned to the Checkers Friday after spending three games with the parent Carolina Hurricanes, where he scored his first NHL goal.
Terry, who leads the Checkers in goals with 23 in 57 games, took his winning shot with 2:07 left in the 5-minute overtime. When I shot it, it was sitting on (Campbells) pad. It just moved a bit, thats when I celebrated, saw it just cross the line, Terry said.
Forward David Marshall gave the Checkers a 1-0 lead in the first period when he stole the puck from a defenseman behind the net, spun and slipped the puck in by the left goalpost on a power play.
Texas responded with two goals in the two minutes and nine seconds apart on Checkers goalie John Muse, who picked up his sixth win of the season.
With 1:56 to go in the second period, right wing Matt Beca took a pass from center Brett Sutter, who was skating behind the Texas net, and knocked the puck in to tie the game 2-2.
The Checkers next go on the road to play Houston on Thursday and Texas on Saturday before returning home March 26 to play Norfolk.