Down 3-0 with five minutes remaining, it would have been easy for the playoff-bound Charlotte Checkers to pack it in and continue their road trip. Their captain, Brett Sutter, had other ideas. In exactly 5:49 of game time, Sutter scored two goals and two assists, including the overtime winner, to cap a hugely improbable 4-3 comeback over the Peoria Rivermen on Tuesday night at Carver Arena. In danger of being shut out one minute, the Checkers now carry a five-game point streak (2-0-3) into their final two games of the season. Sutter’s outburst tied the franchise record for most points in a single game, something he himself had achieved twice earlier this season. After starting the rally himself with a wraparound goal with 4:48 left in regulation, he had the primary helpers on goals by Justin Shugg and Zach Boychuk before doing the honors himself with a sharp-angle rocket just 1:01 into the extra session. John Muse, making his second consecutive start in goal, made 25 saves. Rivermen goalie Mike McKenna, whose 50 saves that night are still tied for the most made by any goaltender in the AHL this season, was up to his old tricks on Tuesday as part of a 43-save showing. Goals by T.J. Hensick in the first period and Nathan Longpre in the second period looked as though they would be enough support, with Evgeny Grachev’s goal to give the Rivermen a 3-0 lead with 5:23 remaining seeming to put the game out of Charlotte’s reach.

-Bob

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