A slow start haunted the Checkers in their matchup with the Monsters as the home side fell by a 3-1 score.

Cleveland came out firing in the opening frame, outshooting Charlotte 15-5 and opening the scoring with a point blast inside of the first four minutes.

That burst of offense would be the difference through the first 40 minutes of play as the Checkers attempted to push back, but a pair of Marko Dano tallies within the first five minutes of the third blew things open in the visitors’ favor.

Cavan Fitzgerald would spark Charlotte with a quick wrister that found the back of the net, but that rally attempt would be squashed by some key stops by Cleveland netminder Elvis Merzlikins, and the Monsters would skate away with the win.

QUOTES

Coach Ryan Warsofsky on his takeaway from the game
It was an awful first period. Just terrible.

Warsofsky on the game as a whole
It wasn’t good. I thought we responded in the second and were better in the third, but self-inflicted wounds, baby. That’s what’s costing us games. It’s self-inflicted. Until we figure that out, we’re going to be in this rut and it’s going to be win one, lose one, win one, lose one. We’ve got to start learning quick.

Warsofsky on how to address these situations
We’ve got to keep teaching, keep coaching and understand there’s some young players in there that have to learn how to be a pro and start at 7 o’clock when the game’s at 7, start at 6 when the game’s at 6 and start at 1 when the game’s at 1. We’ve got to keep coaching these kids, and there are some guys that are experienced that we have to get to carry the rope a little bit and carry it the right way.

Warsofsky on moving on to tomorrow’s rematch
There’s times we play really well. We find our game, we keep it simple, we get pucks to the goal line, we forecheck, we move and we’re playing together. There’s times we have guys on their own page, guys think it’s going to be an easy night and guys hope someone else does it. It’s up to me to get these guys ready to play for 60 total minutes. To work extremely hard is kind of our DNA, and we kind of got away from it.

NOTES

The Checkers scored just one goal for the second consecutive game. Each of their last two goals were scored by defensemen (Chase Priskie on Saturday and Fitzgerald tonight) … Overall, four of the Checkers’ last six goals were by defensemen … Fitzgerald’s goal was his first point of the season … Including a 3-for-3 performance tonight, the Checkers are 16-for-16 in their last four games and 44 of 45 since Nov. 1 … The Checkers’ six shorthanded goals allowed are tied for the most in the league … The Checkers fell to 0-2-1 against Cleveland this season … Forward Stelio Mattheos missed the game due to injury … Forward Hunter Shinkaruk and defenseman Kyle Wood were healthy extras.
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.