Checkers crash out of the play-offs Charlotte loses first-round playoff series despite 51-28 shots advantage

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Checkers were blown away by the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night 6-2. The Barons scored 14 goals in the two games played in Charlotte to the home teams three. The game started in Charlotte’s favor with Riley Nash putting the home team ahead in the 10 minute with an assist by Nicolas Blanchard. The lead was short lived with Jonathon Cheecho tying the game three minutes later. Phillippe Comet and Mark Arcobello provided the assists.

Less than a minute later Oklahoma took the lead when Anton Lander scored on an assist from Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala. Charlotte were fired up and came right back at their rivals with Bobby Raymond putting the puck away in the 17 minute with Brett Sutter and Michal Jordan assisting. The score was even at 2-2 but Charlotte dominated the shooting stats 21 to the Barons 13.OKC Barons

Oklahoma turned the game on its head in the second period even though Charlotte again led in shooting 11 to 10. In the ninth minute Hart regained the lead for the Barons with assists from Rajala and Lander. Just over a minute later Barons captain Josh Green put them 4-2 ahead with KJ Stretch and Randy Jones providing the assist. Oklahoma’s domination continued with Rajala scoring number five the assist on the goal was with Hart.

The third period saw Charlotte against take charge of the game but they could not score and it was Barons Andrew Hotham who put the cream on the top with goal number six. Charlotte outshot Oklahoma 19 to 7 in the third period. Overall Charlotte had 51 shots while Oklahoma had 30. Yann Danis in the Barons goal made 49 saves from 51 shots. Charlotte’s Rob Madore saved 31 from 35 and his replacement John Muse saved 28 of 32.

It was felt by some of the Checker players that things started to a take a turn for the worse when they lost a two-goal lead in the second game in Oklahoma.

This really was a strange season with so many injuries and players going to the Hurricanes. After a team meeting on Monday the players will disperse until next season.

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