Checkers score late and defeat Oklahoma City, 2-1

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla – Defenseman Bobby Raymond scored the game winner on a power play with just 21 seconds remaining in regular time. The goal gave Charlotte a 2-1 victory in Oklahoma a city that they have racked up a record of 6-1-0 in all time visits.
 
The first period saw Jeremy Welsh put Charlotte a head with his seventh goal of the season. Welsh had a terrific night as he was the main assist in Raymond’s winning goal. This was his first goal since January 11 when he scored against Oklahoma in that 7-0 rout.
 
Welsh’s goal came when he jumped on a rebound caused by Chris Terry’s shot from point and buried it. It was good to see Jeremy Welsh back with the Checkers and playing so well he had spent some time with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, although he only played one game, which was on January 22nd.
 
Oklahoma City Barons kept the game fairly even tying things up with five minutes remaining in the first period through Nathan Deck. This was Deck’s first goal in the AHL having come-up from the ECHL.
 
Justin Peters, Charlotte’s All Star goalie made 23 saves ending a two game losing streak. It was at the beginning of the second period that he made several goods stops when the Barons outshot the Checkers 7-0 in the first five minutes of the period. Peter’s counterpart rookie Oliver Roy also had an outstanding game making 27 saves.
 
The night belonged to Bobby Raymond who had been recalled from the Florida Everblades a month ago. It took him 51 AHL games to get his name on the score sheet then he scores the winning goal in back to back games. He had hardly stopped celebrating his goal against Abbotsford when low and behold he did exactly the same again this time against the Barons.
 
Charlottes Luke Pither was tripped by NHL veteran Brett Clark with 1.37 left in the third period. Jeremy Welsh took advantage of the situation sending a beautiful cross-crease pass to Raymond, who sank the puck in the Baron’s net. Charlotte was 2-7 on the power play against the team with the worst record in the AHL.
 
The Checkers stay in Oklahoma to face the Barons one more time Friday night. They then have a seven day break before returning against the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday February 9th at Time Warner Cable Arena. Charlotte goes in to the break leading the AHL.
 
Eddie.Mitchell@ProHockeyNews.com
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