Press release provided by the Charlotte Checkers
TORONTO, ON - The Checkers and Marlies went toe-to-toe in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, trading blows until the home team came away with the overtime winner to even the series.
Deadlocked at three after 60 minutes of regulation, the two sides exchanged chances in the extra frame, including an elongated, breakneck stretch of play with no whistle. The Marlies finally broke through just over seven minutes in when Michael Carcone swung into the zone and wired a low shot into the back of the net to end the game.
Carcone’s game-winner capped a hat trick for the forward, as he opened the scoring and later provided one of two game-tying goals for the Marlies.
Nic Roy evened the score for Charlotte in the middle frame, catching a feed from the hard-forechecking Zach Nastasiuk for a shorthanded tally, then newcomer Jesper Sellgren gave the Checkers their first lead of the night with a snipe just 68 seconds into the third.
Shortly after Carcone drew Toronto back even minutes later, Andrew Poturalski threaded a seeing-eye shot past Kasimir Kaskisuo on the power play to once again push the visitors ahead. That lead would also vanish, however, as Jeremy Bracco would throw a low-angle shot on net and tie the game just past the midway point of the third to force the eventual overtime.
Coach Mike Vellucci on the overtime
It was pretty quick. I think we had one chance, they had two and they scored on the one. That’s the way it goes. The ice was terrible, pucks bouncing everywhere. We turned it over at their blueline after we talked about making sure we got it deep. It bounced on our guy’s stick and they went down the other way and got a nice goal.
Vellucci on the game
I thought we played great really for three periods. We out-chanced them in all three periods. We had a chance to make it 3-1 on a back-door pass to (Aleksi Saarela), and then Geekie had a little breakaway too. You get either of those goals to make it 3-1 or 4-1 and that’s the difference in the game.
Vellucci on getting ready for tomorrow’s game
It’s the Eastern Conference Finals. Nobody is going to have to talk to the guys about being ready. Everyone is ready. We were ready for that game, we played a really good game and just didn’t win the game.
Vellucci on the power play breaking through in the third period
We had chances and we talked about being positive. You hit posts and you hit posts or it hits a leg. Specialty teams we won tonight but we didn’t win the game. We went 1-for-4 (on the power play) and we scored shorthanded. That’s hockey. It’s playoff hockey and we’re playing here on May (23), and those things happen. You’ve just got to put it behind you and get ready for tomorrow.
Nicolas Roy on trading offensive chances in the third period
If we put one of those chances in, we end up winning the game there at the end probably. We knew we were going to face adversity and we did tonight. We’ve just got to come back tomorrow and bounce back.
Roy on getting ready for Game 5 tomorrow
It hurts a little bit tonight, but we’re just going to wash it and be ready for tomorrow.
Roy on working the penalty kill with Zach Nastasiuk
Nasty played really good on the PK there today with good pressure and made two really good passes to me. He’s a really good player on the PK and at five-on-five too. I really enjoy playing with him.
This was the Checkers’ first overtime game of the postseason, while the Marlies improved to 3-0. The Checkers are 5-3 all-time in overtime playoff games … Toronto out-shot the Checkers 5-0 in the overtime period … Roy became the fifth Checker to record his 10th point of the playoffs (12 games) … Roy’s goal was the Checkers’ first shorthanded goal since Dec. 31, also at Toronto … The Checkers are 10-for-11 on the penalty kill with a shorthanded goal in the last two games … With two points (1g, 1a), Poturalski took sole possession of the AHL scoring lead (17 points). He has at least one point in 10 of his 11 games played. He is the only Checker to score goals in three straight playoff games, which he has now done twice … Trevor Carrick had an assist to extend his point streak to eight games (1g, 8a), tying Morgan Geekie’s franchise record set earlier this postseason … The Checkers were tied after the second period in all three of their losses this postseason … Forwards Scott Davidson, Steven Lorentz, Stelio Mattheos, Jacob Pritchard and Zack Stortini, defensemen Dennis Robertson and Bobby Sanguinetti and goaltender Jeremy Helvig were healthy extras.
The Checkers and Marlies will square off one more time in Toronto, with Game 5 coming tomorrow night at 7 p.m.