Peters, Pither lead Charlotte past Griffins, 1-0

CHARLOTTE, NC – Luke Pither making his debut for the Checkers scored the only goal of the game within ten minutes of the first period, for the home team. He broke free down the left side beating Grand Rapids goalie Petr Mrazek with a well aimed shot. Pither had been playing in the ECHL for the Wheeling Nailers where he had a lot of playing time. The Hurricanes acquired him in a trade that sent Brian Boucher to Philadelphia.
In the Checkers goal, Justin Peters kept the Griffins at bay with his third shutout in four games making 27 saves.
“He’s a competitor and he wants to win so badly,” said coach Jeff Daniels. “He’s one of the most exited guys in the locker room after these games, and guys don’t want to let him down.”
“It was an unbelievable effort and guys stepped up,” Peters said. “Seeing guys like (Jared) Staal and (Sean) Dolan killing penalties near the end of the game (a Checkers penalty for too many men on the ice with 1:24 remaining in regulation), they didn’t even give them a sniff.”
The team also set a new franchise record with their sixth win in a row.
“We have to work with what we have,” said Daniels, whose team has yet to suffer a regulation loss in 2013. “It’s a credit to the guys who are working hard. We’re not generating a lot of offense right now, but we’re being smart with the puck.”
The offense was fairly quiet for Charlotte with only 17 shots on the night. It wasn’t at all surprising that Charlotte’s offense was somewhat blunted with Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalphi all at training camp in Raleigh. However the team battled well snuffing out Grand Rapids efforts.
“I felt good,” said Pither, who scored on his first shot of the game. “I was getting a lot of ice time in Wheeling so my conditioning is good. I feel like I’ve got my speed back and I’m confident with the puck.”
“He had a good shot and showed some speed,” said Daniels of his newest player, who arrived in Charlotte late Monday night. “It’s a new team, new building and new systems, so for the most part we just wanted him to go out and play.”
Tonight Grand Rapids will have the opportunity for revenge, with the mindset of the Checker players that is not going to be an easy task. Face-off is 7.00PM. Follow us on Twitter @prohockeynews

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