Charlotte wins at home at last

CHARLOTTE, NC – After the disappointment of the previous five games at home, all losses, Charlotte got back to winning ways Friday night. Five different goal scorers ended the worst losing streak in Charlotte history. Lake Erie Monsters, who played so well the previous evening, were not about to lay down they battled literally to the end.
The game was only three minutes old when Checker’s captain Brett Sutter beat Monster’s goalie Sami Aittokallio. Immediately Lake Erie equalized through Geoff Walker with a goal that Checkers Dan Ellis will not want to remember. A shot hit Ellis’s skate and bounced into the net.
For the next minute the gloves came off and the rink was a crazy place to be with a number of fights, any of which would have graced Madison Square Garden. Nicolas Blanchard and Monster’s tough guy Patrick Bordeleau fought in the center of the ice, raining stinging blows on each other.
“In our last couple of games, even though we lost them we started to play the right way,” said Dan Ellis, the 32-year-old NHL veteran. “We started to get our identity back.”
No sooner had that fight been broken-up than Sean Dolan scored the go-ahead goal for Charlotte. At the face-off Dolan and Mitchell Heard exchanged blows. Time Warner Cable Arena was going crazy. The excitement continued with Justin Kruegar scoring his first goal of the season to put Charlotte 3-1 in the lead.
Charlotte were fired-up, Jeremy Welsh had a goal disallowed following a video review. They hit the post for the second time in the game. Another fight broke out, this time it was Drayson Bowman his opponent Mike Sgarbossa.
Jerome Samson added number four, his second goal in as many games. Drayson Bowman fresh from his altercation scored goal number five his 13th goal of the season. Bowman is now second in the AHL scoring chart. Dan Ellis in the Checkers goal made 36 saves on the night.
“We needed a win in the worst way, and when that happens you start to get into it a little bit,” said Bowman, who recalled having a couple of Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in junior hockey but never in four season as a pro, when asked about his bout with Sgarbossa. “They weren’t going to back down either.”
“It’s good to win a game like that and get some confidence,” said Bowman. “Hopefully we can keep it going and get a few in a row like we did earlier in the season.”
Charlotte stay at home and face Milwaukee on Sunday December 9 in a two game set. Getting that monkey off their back should be good reason that Charlotte can take the momentum from the Lake Erie win to see off the Admirals.
Eddie.Mitchell@ProHockeyNews.com
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