The Checkers couldn’t replicate their success in Sunday’s rematch with the Binghamton Devils, closing out their home stand with a 4-1 loss.
The contest was filled with penalties, starting right off the opening whistle. Josiah Didier laid a hit on John Quenneville 10 seconds in that earned the Checkers’ blue liner a game misconduct as well as a major penalty. The Devils converted once on their five-minute man advantage, the notched another tally minutes later on a separate power play.
The Checkers joined in the power-play festivities later in the frame, with the red-hot Greg McKegg snapping a quick shot to extend his point streak, but that would be all the home team could muster. Charlotte was handed eight man advantages in the contest but went scoreless on seven of them, while the Devils notched their third of the opening period shortly after McKegg’s strike. A late empty-netter would stretch the visitors’ lead to 4-1, where it would stay until the final horn.
Coach Mike Vellucci on what went wrong in today’s game
Specialty teams. They went 3-for-5 and scored on their first three opportunities that they had. The penalty kill was atrocious and our power play wasn’t much better in only going 1-for-8.
Vellucci on the early penalties affecting the team’s momentum
If we kill them all, we get the momentum. We just didn’t kill them and that’s our fault. You’ve got to earn your own momentum and we didn’t earn it. You’ve got to compete and you’ve got to skate. We looked tired, and they looked better than we did.
Vellucci on the power play not working
Z missed a couple of chances that he could have buried and he let up just a little bit. We just passed too much. We were looking for the pretty play when sometimes you’ve got to get that ugly one.
Philip Samuelsson on the game
If you give up three goals on the penalty kill, you’re not really giving yourself the best chance to win. Right now our penalty kill is just not getting the job done.
Samuelsson on playing with five defensemen for the majority of the game
We’re professional athletes and we’re supposed to take care of ourselves. I know for me personally the more I play the more I get into a nice little groove. I don’t think that’s an excuse that we’re looking for.
With 10 games to go, the Checkers remain seven points ahead of Bridgeport in the playoff race. Bridgeport (3 p.m. start) was trailing Providence 4-1 after two periods … The Checkers tied their season high for power-play goals allowed in a single game, set three times previously, in the first period alone … Excluding the empty netter, all four of the game’s goals were scored on the power play. Binghamtonc converted five of 10 chances in the two-game series … The Checkers lost for second time in their last eight games and for the fourth time in their last 16 games at Bojangles’ Coliseum … Charlotte finished the season series with Binghamton at 2-2-0 … McKegg has nine points (4g, 5a) in nine games as a Checker, including an active five-game point streak (4g, 2a) … Lucas Wallmark extended his assist/point streak to a career-long six games (1g, 9a) … Valentin Zykov extended his point streak to eight games (7g, 4a), tying his career long set earlier this season … After missing the previous game due to suspension, Checkers defenseman Josiah Didier earned a game misconduct for interference just 10 seconds into the game … Forward Andrew Miller and defenseman Jake Chelios missed the game due to injury … Forwards Mike Ferrantino, Nick Schilkey, Zack Stortini and Sergey Tolchinsky, defenseman Tyler Ganly and goalie Callum Booth were healthy extras.
The Checkers will now head out on the road, starting a two-game set in Laval with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop on Friday.
Press release provided by the Charlotte Checkers