CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bruce Graham scored twice and added two assists and Corey Potter tallied two goals as the Charlotte Checkers built up a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-4 win over the South Carolina Stingrays before 3,698 at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
“You can't spot teams a 4-0 lead and expect to win,” South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. “This is unacceptable. We have six days between games and we will get back to the basics in practice in an effort to turn this thing around in a positive direction.”
Charlotte (10-6-0, 20 points) opened the score just 45 seconds into the game. Graham shoveled home his team-leading 12th goal of the season beating goaltender Daren Machesney. Dusty Jamieson and Mark Lee picked up assists.
Potter gave the Checkers a 2-0 as he unleashed a left point shot on the power play for his second tally of the year with helpers going to Blake Bellefeuille and Jamieson.
In the second, Graham went back to work and netted his second of the game at the 2:58 mark. Assists were awarded to Dan Murphy and Ryan Constant.
Just 31 seconds later, Charlotte went up 4-0 on an unassisted goal by Nathan Gillies.
South Carolina (8-9-2, 18 points) got on the board on a hardworking unassisted goal from Josh Anderson, who hustled off the left wing and beat netminder Chris Holt for his second of the campaign.
Jamie Fraser then cut the lead in half at 4-2 by hammering a shot home on the power play for his fourth of the year at 13:37. Evan Schwabe and Matt Stefanishion garnered assists.
But Charlotte regained its three-goal lead with another goal on the man advantage. Veteran defenseman Kenton Smith found the back of the net on a shot from the high slot for his third of the year. Graham picked up an assist for his third point of the game.
In the third, South Carolina started a comeback. Evan Schwabe broke in alone on the penalty kill and recorded a shorthand goal for his fourth of the year assisted by T.J. McElroy.
Then 1:25 later, Donny Grover bulged the twine for his fourth of the season from Anderson to make it 5-4 in favor of Charlotte.
The Checkers put the game away on the power play at 10:21. Potter with his second of the game from Graham and Constant sealed the deal.
South Carolina converted on 1-of-7 chances on the power play, while Charlotte went 3-for-9 with the man advantage. Checkers outshot Stingrays 29-26.
The Stingrays next game is at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday against the Pensacola Ice Pilots at the North Charleston Coliseum. Prior to the game it’s “Street Rodin’ with the Rays” presented by Advance Auto Parts. For more information contact Steve Fraser in the Stingrays front office at 744-2248. The game promotion consists of the Live 5 Teddy Bear Toss for Debbie’s Kids, after the Stingrays score their first goal of the game.
For live play-by-play action join Mike Kelly, “Voice of the Stingrays” on Real 1340 and online at www.stingrayshockey.com beginning at 6:50 on Saturday with the Benito’s Pregame Show. Watch the game live on the web telecast for $6 each at www.stingrayshockey.com, courtesy of B2 Networks and listen inside the North Charleston Coliseum on 87.8 FM.
Don’t miss the fast-paced, action-packed, family affordable fun! Full season and partial season ticket packages are available by calling 744-2248.
Individual tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 554-6060 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Discounted groups tickets, birthday packages, Kids Club information and fundraiser opportunities are available by calling 744-2248 or by visiting online at www.stingrayshockey.com. Stingrays Hockey – A Whole Lot Cooler!