Press release provided by the Charlotte Checkers
CHARLOTTE, NC - The low-scoring, tightly contested action from last night spilled into Charlotte’s rematch against Providence, with the Bruins again coming away with the overtime victory.
The lone tally on the night came 96 seconds into a wild, back and forth overtime when Gemel Smith carried the puck in on an odd-man rush and buried a quick wrister for the decisive goal.
Each team used a different netminder from the night before but both yielded the same results. Scott Darling turned in a stellar performance for the Checkers, denying each of the first 28 shots he faced, while Providence’s Dan Vladar finished the contest with a perfect 37 saves.
The Checkers produced no shortage of chances throughout the game, especially in the third when they outshot the visitors 13-5, but couldn’t find any bounces going their way.
Coach Mike Vellucci on his team’s scoring chances
We had a lot. We counted 24 Grade-A scoring chances. Their goalie played really well, we put a lot of good shots on and crashed the net. We missed a couple of empty-netters there with a couple of guys, but I thought we played a good game in a playoff atmosphere. They’re a very good team and those were tough losses in overtime, but we played a solid game for most of the game.
Vellucci on keeping offensive pressure going through the game
It was good. We had 13 shots in the third period and put the pressure on them, but we were pressing so hard that we gave up some odd-man rushes and our D made some good plays and Darls had a good game.
Vellucci on overtime strategy
The strategy is just to score. We had a breakaway and we didn’t score, they scored on their two-on-one, we had three shots and they had two. Early in the year we won a bunch of overtime games and the last couple we lost at home, and overall you’re just trying to score. Their goalie played really well.
Vellucci on Scott Darling
I thought he was really good tonight. He played big in his net and made some hard saves look easy and took up a lot of the net.
This was the Checkers’ fourth consecutive overtime loss. They have gone to overtime three times in their last six games and 14 times this season … Providence extended its league-best point streak to 11 games (9-0-2) … Charlotte is now 3-2-2 in the season series against Providence. The teams would meet in the first round of the playoffs if the season ended today … The Checkers have just one win in their last six games (1-2-3) … This was the Checkers’ third time being shut out this season, two of which were in the last five games … Darling made 28 saves, allowing just one goal for the second time this season … The Checkers are 1-for-21 on the power play over their last five games … Forward Janne Kuokkanen missed the game due to injury … Forwards Steven Lorentz and Zack Stortini and defenseman Dennis Robertson were healthy extras.
The Checkers are right back at it in Bojangles’ Coliseum Tuesday for a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Cleveland Monsters.