PEORIA, Ill – Peoria were strolling to an easy victory against Charlotte when Brett Sutter took matters in to his own hands. The Checkers were three goals behind with just five minutes left in the game, they came back to win with a Sutter goal in overtime.
Sutter’s effort tied him for the most points scored by a Checker in a single game, 2 goals and 2 assists.
Peoria went ahead in the first period through T.J. Hensick, Nathan Longpre then added another goal in the second period. To make matters worse, Evgeny Grachev scored a third goal in the last session.
With the clock running down to 5.49 remaining, the task of getting back in to the game looked hopeless for Charlotte. Then super hero Sutter turned on the burners and snatched the victory from under Peoria’s nose.
Mike McKenna in the Peoria goal was shell-shocked by this one-man blitz, having made 43 saves on the evening and with only five plus minutes to play he must have thought that he was going to get the win.
Sutter with an assist from Chris Terry and Bobby Raymond opening Charlotte’s account, this was followed by Shugg’s goal with an assist from Sutter.
Then Zach Boychuk got in the picture, again on an assist from Sutter.
Charlotte and especially Sutter were in fire.
The game was now in overtime and who else but the captain was going to put the icing on the cake for the visitors. Sutter now has 46 points on the season, a personal record, beating his previous best by some 17 points.
Charlotte now head to Milwaukee on Friday and then the final game of the regular season at Peoria on Saturday. Having reached the play-offs Charlotte is now seeking home ice advantage, which is an excellent possibility.