Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles' Coliseum
The Checkers’ final home series of the season started off with a thud as Charlotte dropped a 6-1 decision to Bridgeport.

After falling into a 2-0 hole in the first, the Checkers cut the advantage in half early in the middle frame thanks to a tally from Andrew Poturalski, but it would be all Bridgeport from there. The Sound Tigers would rattle off four unanswered markers through the rest of regulation, including a 3-for-4 night on the man advantage, to run away with the contest.

The Checkers pumped 30 shots on goal, including doubling up the visitor’s total in the third period, but their former netminder Jeremy Smith stood tall in the Bridgeport crease to deny 29 of those. Scott Darling, in his first start on home ice, finished the night with 22 stops but was saddled with his second loss of the season.

QUOTES

Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
We didn’t start off good. That can be on me because I should have been more prepared I guess. We got back into it at 2-1 but we took two bad penalties, they scored on the five-on-three and it put us on our heels there. We didn’t create any offensive chances at five-on-five and I think after two periods we only had five chances. There wasn’t much room out there and they didn’t have a lot chances either other than on their power plays.

Vellucci on creating chances
You’ve got to fight for it, and we didn’t fight for anything. Not in the offensive zone, not in the defensive zone and not in the neutral zone. They’re a fast, hard team and you have to play hard, playoff-style hockey against them. We were way too light on the puck.

Vellucci on tomorrow’s rematch
Tomorrow is a big game for us. We’re fighting for the top seed in our division with these guys and we want to go into the Christmas break with a good feeling. We’ll put this one behind us but we’d better be ready tomorrow.

Trevor Carrick on takeaways from the game
We’ve got to forget about that one and move on. I thought we came out in the third and sent them a little bit of a message so hopefully that will help us going into tomorrow.

Carrick on the game itself
They came out strong and I thought they were winning those battles and playing harder than us and it showed in the score. We had a little bit of pushback in the third but it wasn’t great. We’ve got to get back at it tomorrow and have a better start.

Carrick on the importance of winning the final game before the holiday break tomorrow
You want to end it on a good note and then go spend some time with the famil and enjoy that. Tomorrow will be a big one for us.

NOTES

Bridgeport closed to within five points of Charlotte for the Atlantic Division/AHL lead … The Checkers set season highs for most goals allowed and largest loss margin. Their three goals allowed in the second period tied a season high set twice previously … Their three power-play goals allowed (on four opportunities) tied a season high set Oct. 19 vs. Hershey … Aleksi Saarela extended his career-long point streak to seven games (2g, 5a) … Poturalski’s goal gave him sole possession of the team scoring lead with 28 points … Forward Saku Maenalanen missed the game due to illness … Forward Zack Stortini and defenseman Josh Wesley were healthy extras.

UP NEXT

The teams play a rematch Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Checkers' final game before the holiday break.
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.