The Checkers wrapped up their six-game home stand with a resounding 6-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Charlotte’s offense continued to fire with five different skaters tallying goals, which extended the team’s point streak to seven games (6-0-1). Tomas Jurco opened the scoring early, followed by a Jake Bean rip from the blue line and an Aleksi Saarela snipe from the dot to give the Checkers a 3-0 lead at the end of the first 20 minutes.

After a short stretch in the middle frame - where Hartford managed to claw back to within one - a goal-line save by Dennis Robertson swung the momentum back in the Checkers’ favor. Shortly after, Andrew Poturalski threw a shot on net and Morgan Geekie expertly tipped it into the top corner to make it 4-2. To round out the second period, Nicolas Roy muscled his way through the face-off and tucked it five-hole to extend the lead to three. Saarela closed out the scoring in the third period with his second goal of the game to bring the final score to 6-2.

The Checkers go on the road for a three-game series that includes two games against the second-place Bridgeport Sound Tigers before returning to Charlotte for the last stretch of home games of the regular season.

QUOTES

Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
I thought we played pretty good. We had a really good start in that third period and took it to them really good, and then got a loose in the second period and had big turnovers that cost us goals. We settled down at the end of the second.

Vellucci on getting six even-strength goals tonight after zero yesterday
We just played smarter. We were way loose last night and today we were smarter with the puck and got to the right areas and shared it amongst each other rather than trying to do it ourselves. I was really happy with the five-on-five.

Vellucci on settling the team down in the second period
I didn’t have to say much. The captains and the leaders took over and said the right things on the bench. As a coach, when they do that and you don’t have to say anything, that makes it a lot easier knowing that the team is in good hands with our leadership

Vellucci on playing two of the next three at second-place Bridgeport
We’ve just got to continue to play well. We’ve got to treat everything like it’s a playoff game because you’ve got to be as used to playing these games as possible. They’re hunting for us, they’re hard games, they’re always physical games and we’ve got to be ready for them.

Vellucci on Clark Bishop leaving the game on the opening faceoff
Bish got hit in the eye so he’s going to be out for a while. Nothing that they’re telling us is too serious, but we’ve just got to make sure that he’s alright.

Jake Bean on having three consecutive two-point games
It’s nice for it to go in every now and then. It’s just not getting too high or too low. I’ve got to try to continue to get shots on net, make opportunities for everyone else and make guys the around me better.

Patrick Brown on the game
I thought we played a great team game aside from about seven minutes in the second period. We had three or four lines going even though we were short a couple (players), but everyone was buzzing and [Tokarski] held us in there when we were struggling.

Brown on what’s working for the team offensively
Mike (Vellucci) has been great and has really honed in on what we were struggling with. Now we’re just crashing the net and trying to get pucks to the net instead of trying to make the nice play. We’re getting pucks to the net and it’s working so we’ll just stick with that.

NOTES

The Checkers extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1 since March 10), tying their longest of the season … The Checkers’ franchise record point streak at home extended to 10 games (9-0-1 since Feb. 22) … Saarela recorded his fourth two-goal game of the season. He has nine points in his last nine games, eight of which are goals … Jake Bean had a goal and two assists to record his third consecutive two-point game … Playing against his former team, Tokarski improved to 3-0-0 as a Checker with just four total goals allowed … Jurco’s goal gave him nine points in 10 games as a Checker … The Checkers’ run of nine straight games with a power-play goal came to an end as they went 0-for-2, though their sixth goal tonight came just five seconds after an opportunity expired … The Checkers are 12-2-1 against Hartford over the last two seasons … Clark Bishop left the game with an injury following the opening faceoff and did not return … Forward Julien Gauthier missed the game due to illness … Forwards Steven Lorentz and Zack Stortini and defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti were healthy extras.

UP NEXT

The Checkers hit the road for a three-game stretch that will take them to Bridgeport on Wednesday, Hartford on Friday and then back to Bridgeport on Saturday.
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.