The Checkers’ last game before the All-Star break was one to forget as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday.
Despite entering the game with the fourth-most goals in the AHL and two of the league’s top six goal scorers, Charlotte suffered its fourth shutout of the season. Three of Hartford’s goals came on second-period power plays, two of which were just over a minute apart as part of the same sequence that included a two-man advantage.
After defeating the Checkers 3-2 in the shootout one night earlier, Hartford goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made 38 saves to earn the shutout. Jeremy Smith and Alex Nedeljkovic split goaltending duties for Charlotte, with Smith making way for Nedeljkovic after allowing three goals on 13 shots. Nedeljkovic stopped all 11 shots he faced, with Hartford’s fourth going into the empty net as Charlotte opted to pull its goaltender with just under six minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first time the Checkers allowed three power-play goals in a single game this season … Hartford won its fifth straight game … The Checkers fell to 1-1-1 against the Wolf Pack this season, with all three games taking place in Hartford … Two of the Checkers’ four shutouts on the season were in January … Andrew Poturalski’s seven-game point streak came to an end … Forward Sergey Tolchinsky missed the game due to injury … Forwards Mike Ferrantino and Zack Stortini and defensemen Josiah Didier and Dennis Robertson were healthy extras.
Warren Foegele and Valentin Zykov head to Utica for the All-Star Classic that starts with Sunday's Skills Competition and continues with the round-robin tournament on Monday. The team will then reconvene for a four-game road trip that starts Friday, Feb. 2, at Lehigh Valley.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.