Charlotte loses fifth game on the bounce

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Checkers 3-2 giving the host team its fifth loss in as many games. This 10 game home stand is turning into a nightmare for Charlotte, this is their longest losing streak at home in the team’s history.
 
The Checkers opened the scoring through Jerome Samson 5.18 into the game but then went behind when the Monsters Mike Connelly and Mike Sgarbossa put the visitors ahead. The turning point in the game came when Samson appeared to tie the game in the third period only to have the goal disallowed. The referee Mark Lemelin ruled that Samson had interfered with Monsters goalie Sami Aittokallio as he went round the keeper to score.
 
Having had to explain his team’s fall from first place in the AHL and firmly back to Earth over the two weeks, coach Jeff Daniels didn’t have much to add this time.
 
“At the end of the day a loss is a loss, and you can word it however you want,” he said. “It’s a loss, and we’ve got to be better.”
 
Samson was given a penalty which was killed by the Charlotte team.Two minutes later   Bill Thomas of the Monsters took advantage of a two-on-one to score the winning goal. With five minutes left in the game Drayson Bowman narrowed the score line with his first home goal of the season. Justin Peters in the Charlotte goal made 21 saves on the night.
 
“I can’t even start to describe it,” said Samson of his frustration at the time. “I thought we came out strong to start the second period and got the tying goal, and then they’re on the power play. Momentum would have been on our side, but then it flipped away.”
 
The Samson incident was one of several situations that went against the Checkers. They hit the post twice although they came out strongly nothing went right for them. Frustration probably is the best word to describe the feeling at the end of the game. It was suggested that the team is trying too hard, where earlier in the season they played more relaxed and obtained the results they were looking for.
 
“When we were winning at the start of the year, we were just going out and playing, knowing we were going to end up on the good side of the game,” said Samson. “Now we’re thinking too much. We get too much frustration.”
 
“It’s a very fine line between winning and losing,” said Justin Peters. “As for our preparation, what I hope we do is look in the mirror.”
 
Charlotte are now 12-8-2 going into Fridays game against the Monsters, with that five game losing run hanging over their heads.
 
Eddie.Mitchell@ProHockeyNews.com
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