Charlotte wins in shootout

CHARLOTTE, NC – It was a close call, there were only 12 seconds left in the game when Justin Faulk tied the game for Charlotte. In the shootout that followed Justin Krueger scored the winner to give Charlotte a 3-2 win over the Houston Aeros.
 
“It’s huge,” said Faulk, who scored for the second consecutive game since ending a 10-game drought. “It’s good to get back on track.”
 
The win increased Charlottes lead over Houston in the Southern Division to two points. It also gave the team its second win in as many games, something they had not managed since defeating the Milwaukee Admirals on November 21st.
 
“I just wanted to make sure I got it on net,” said Faulk.
 
After a goalless first period Nicolas Blanchard gave the Checkers the lead 6.44 into the second period. Charlotte held onto the lead until 19.11 in the second when David McIntyre with assists from Justin Fontaine and Kris Fredheim tied the game for the Admirals.
Two minutes into the third period and Milwaukee scored their second, a goal that looked for a long time like the winner. That was until Justin Faulk at the 19.47 mark hit a beautiful shot through a crowd of players and into Matt Hackett’s goal.
 
“You can call him (Justin Kreuger) the secret weapon or whatever you want to call him,” said Daniels. “He’s always working on it and it’s not always pretty, but he’s never afraid to try it during the game.”
 
The shootout went to the seventh round before Justin Kreuger beat Milwaukee’s goalie Hackett with a strange move that was part stutter step and part spin. The wonderful thing for Charlotte was that the puck finished in the back of the goal giving the Checkers the win.
Matt Hackett in the Milwaukee goal made 35 saves while Dan Ellis had 22. In shootouts Ellis is 9-4 in 103 game AHL career. He also made a goal saving effort in the third period from Nick Palmieri that would have given Houston a 3-1 lead. Earlier in the week Ellis’s contract was extended by the Checkers.
 
This Saturday December 15th Charlotte is at home to Houston with a 12.00PM face-off. Sunday they take-on the San Antonio Rampage at 5.30PM.
 
Eddie.Mitchell@ProHockeyNews.com
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