The Checkers battled through a tight, low-scoring affair in Cleveland and came away with a point, but the 2-1 overtime victory went to the Monsters.
After a 60-minute deadlock, both sides created chances early in the overtime, but a chase for a loose puck led to a penalty shot for former Hurricane Nathan Gerbe. Cleveland’s captain swooped in and converted his chance, ending the contest 42 seconds into the extra frame.
All of the scoring in regulation came within the first half of the opening period. After the Monsters broke through early, Kyle Wood answered the call by launching a point shot that redirected off an opponent’s stick and in for a power-play tally.
The netminders took center stage for the rest of the game, especially Alex Nedeljkovic. While his counterpart in Matiss Kivlenieks only saw 21 shots thrown his way by Charlotte, Nedeljkovic faced 32 shots through the first 60 minutes of play and denied 31 of them, though he was ultimately saddeled with the loss.
Stelio Mattheos made his season debut after undergoing cancer treatment over the summer … Nathan Gerbe’s penalty shot goal was the fifth successful attempt against the Checkers in franchise history and the first overtime winner ever … It was also the first ever penalty shot goal allowed by Alex Nedeljkovic, who was perfect on three attempts prior … Kyle Wood scored his second goal in the last three games … Nedeljkovic has made 70 saves in his last two games … Janne Kuokkanen and Jake Bean both extended their point streaks to three games … Tonight was Charlotte’s first game to end in overtime this season and the second to go beyond regulation … Tonight was the first time the Checkers haven’t collected two points from a game in Cleveland since Mar. 28, 2017 … Spencer Smallman and Fredrik Claesson missed the game due to injury … Hunter Shinkaruk, Derek Sheppard and Cavan Fitzgerald were healthy scratches
The Checkers and Monsters will enjoy a day of practice tomorrow before facing off once again Sunday in Cleveland at 1 p.m.
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.