The Checkers made more of a game of it this time, but the result was the same as they suffered another loss in Texas, this time by a 4-2 score, to fall to 0-2-0 on the young season.

Andrew Poturalski and Patrick Brown scored for the visitors, who out-shot Texas by a 45-20 margin but couldn’t get the goal they needed to tie the game after falling behind for good midway through the second period. Rookie goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic started for the second time in as many games but lost the decision to Texas’ Maxime Lagace, who stymied the Checkers time and time again down the stretch.

Charlotte, which is pointless after two games for the second time in its seven AHL seasons, will now return home for a week of practice before resuming their schedule with two more road games in Iowa next weekend. The team has never started a season 0-3-0.

As opposed to the previous night’s 6-2 loss on opening day that saw Charlotte fall behind 4-0 in the first period, the Checkers struck first in this one through Poturalski’s second goal in as many games. This time, the rookie forward took a cross-ice pass from another first-year player, Lucas Wallmark, and rifled it off the post and in behind Stars netminder Maxime Lagace.

Poturalski’s two goals equal his total from a 16-game tryout with the Checkers that immediately followed the conclusion of his collegiate career at the University of New Hampshire last spring.

Introducing a theme that would later resurface, Texas’ Brandon DeFazio tied the game with a quick response just under two minutes after Poturalski’s strike on the Stars’ first power play. After Texas’ Andrew Bodnarchuk restored the home team’s lead near the end of the first, any momentum gained after Patrick Brown’s shorthanded equalizer early in the second would be short lived after the Stars again responded approximately two minutes later, this time on a two-on-one break finished by Gemel Smith.

Charlotte continued to apply the pressure in the third by swarming Lagace, but the Stars netminder thwarted all of their chances, most notably on consecutive power plays midway through. With Nedlejkovic pulled for the extra attacker, Justin Dowling sealed the game with an empty-net goal to create the final score of 4-2.

NOTES

The Checkers’ 45 shots equaled their highest total from last season … Charlotte was 0-for-7 on the power play ... Brown’s shorthanded goal was the second of his career … Wallmark and Matt Tennyson each picked up their first points as Checkers with assists on Poturalski’s goal … Connor Brickley did the same with the lone helper on Brown’s … Mitchell Heard played his first game as a Checker … Forwards Kyle Hagel and Erik Karlsson and defensemen Keegan Lowe and Josh Wesley were healthy extras.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.

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