The ice may have been a different color on Pink In The Rink night, but it was the same result for the Checkers as Alex Nedeljkovic picked up his fifth shutout of the season, tied for most in the league, to lead Charlotte to their fifth consecutive victory.

The fast-paced contest saw a chance-filled first period that yielded no goals for either side. It wasn’t until early on in the middle frame when the Checkers broke the ice, with Marcus Kruger wrapping around a cross crease pass for Trevor Carrick, who roofed it from a low-angle to give Charlotte a lead that would last until the second intermission.

The third frame saw a strong push back from the visitors, but Nedeljkovic wouldn’t budge, finishing the night with a perfect 23 saves on 23 shots. The tight contest went down to the wire until Jake Chelios hit an empty net from all the way down the ice in the final minutes to seal the 2-0 win, Charlotte’s fifth in a row and sixth on home ice.


Vellucci on the game
Their goalie played well and we had a couple of chances where we didn’t even get a shot on net when we were wide open, and I think we hit two or three posts. That was a great hockey game. Those are the kind of game you’ve got to learn to win. Those are playoff hockey games. That’s a really good team over there – they’re fast, they’re well-coached and they work hard – and we matched it all tonight. It was a great game.

Vellucci on Nedeljkovic
He’s in a rhythm, he’s got confidence and we’re playing hard in front of him. He’s seeing the puck, and goaltending is a lot about confidence too. He’s playing with a ton of it.

Vellucci what he knows about Andrew Miller’s injury
Zero. Hopefully we’ll find out something. He was in a lot of pain, and it didn’t look good.

Alex Nedeljkovic on getting his third shutout in four games
The main thing is getting those wins. That was a playoff game, pretty much. We got that empty netter with a minute left and they still came and pressured. Tonight was a good win, we played solid all around and it was a good team victory.

Nedeljkovic on the team’s effort
I think guys stepped up great, especially with Millsy going down in the first there because he’s a big part of that first line. With Wally not being here either the lines got shuffled around and guys responded well. Everything just seemed to click tonight.

Trevor Carrick on contributing offense from the blue line
For me personally, at the beginning of the year I was trying to force it too much and I was getting caught gambling a little too much. Right now I’m trying to jump in at the right times and I think all the D have been doing a pretty good job of it. I’m just trying to be that fourth man and the forwards are doing a good job of finding us

Carrick on Nedeljkovic
He’s been doing a heck of a job right now, obviously. He’s been rock solid back there, and when he’s playing confident it makes us play a little more confident. Hopefully we can just keep it going and keep helping him out like he’s helping us out.


The Checkers' pink jersey auction rasied $21,525 for various nonprofits ... The Checkers have allowed two goals in their last four games, including three shutouts … Nedeljkovic is once again tied for the league lead in shutouts with five. He extended his lead for AHL wins with his 23rd … The Checkers’ fifth consecutive win marks their longest streak since a franchise-record, seven-game run from March 9-25 of last season … Carrick’s goal and assist gave him four points (1g, 3a) in his last four games … Marcus Kruger has points in consecutive games (1g, 1a) … Two of Chelios’ four goals on the season have come in his last three games … Andrew Miller left the game with an injury in the first period and did not return … Forwards Mike Ferrantino, Nick Schilkey Spencer Smallman, Zack Stortini and Sergey Tolchinsky, defenseman Dennis Robertson and goaltender Jeremy Smith sat as extras.


The Checkers wrap up their home stand tomorrow with a rematch against this same Syracuse Crunch team. Puck drop is at 3 p.m.
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.