Overtime has not been kind to the Checkers recently.
Lake Erie defenseman Cameron Gaunce scored a controversial goal 1:20 into the extra session to send the Checkers a 2-1 defeat on Sunday that marked their third overtime loss in as many games. The previous two came by way of shootout, including a 3-2 setback against the same Monsters team one night earlier.
Though the Checkers fell to 6-8 in games tied after regulation, they have now earned points in six of their last seven games, going 2-1-4 in that span.
Gaunce’s winner came with a good amount of confusion, as he knocked Peters over after taking his shot. Despite a vehement protest from Peters, officials allowed the goal to stand after ruling that the puck had crossed the line prior to the collision.
Peters, who rejoined Charlotte on Friday after a three-month stint with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, finished with 24 saves in his first AHL start since Dec. 11. Though the game had more scoring chances than the teams’ previous meeting, it actually had fewer goals thanks to the play of Peters and Lake Erie’s Cedrick Desjardins, who made 34 saves.
Chris Terry was the only Checker to find the back of the net, scoring his 12th of the season and second in four games as he beat Desjardins five-hole on a two-on-one with Zac Dalpe. Rookie Justin Shugg started the play by forcing a turnover in the neutral zone, with Terry electing to finish the play himself near the midway point of the second period.
Lake Erie negated that goal just six minutes later when Greg Mauldin scored on a shorthanded breakaway during the Checkers’ second and final power play of the game. Mauldin gained the puck near the defensive blue line and got the inside track on defenseman Mathieu Roy before going top shelf on Peters to tie the game.
Though the Checkers had to kill a slashing penalty to Terry with less than three minutes left in regulation, they actually had the better chances to win the game late, most notably when Zach Boychuk walked the puck out of the corner and had two good stuff chances that Desjardins stopped.
Lake Erie’s win in its fourth straight overtime game marked its seventh straight victory at home. The four-game season series between the two clubs has now concluded, with the Monsters winning three of four.
The Checkers now return home to begin a six-game home stand that ties its longest of the season.
NOTES: Charlotte killed all three Lake Erie power plays, extending their streak to 26 over their last eight games … The Checkers have now allowed seven shorthanded goals ... Lake Erie left wing Patrick Bordeleau served the first of a two-game suspension for an incident that occurred Friday against Hamilton … The Colorado Avalanche recalled Monsters forward Mike Connolly, the team’s second-highest scorer, prior to the game … Due to Boychuk’s return from the NHL Saturday night, Charlotte forward Jared Staal was a healthy scratch … Center Riley Nash and defensemen Justin Krueger, Chris Murray and Rasmus Rissanen all sat out due to injury.