Checkers Sweep Series with Lehigh Valley


Coach Mike Vellucci on the weekend
I’m very happy. Obviously it’s two big wins against a really good team and we’re shorthanded with a lot of guys who are injured or out sick. The guys that came in for them got the ice time and they made the most of it, so I’m very proud of them.

Vellucci on breaking through offensively with five goals
We got contributions from everybody but they haven’t been going in as of late. Last night we had 20 chances and only a couple of goals, so it was good to get a few more here and work for it. I thought we controlled most of the game until the third when we sat back a little bit and they had a push. Of course they’re going to push, but I thought we responded OK.

Vellucci on the physical nature of the game
They’re a good team. They beat us in the playoffs last year and they’re a lot older and obviously a little frustrated with coming here in and not getting any points, so they were pushing back hard and we just had to stand our ground.

Vellucci on winning four of five
We just want to keep playing well and do well down the stretch so we’re ready and focused for the playoffs. Every win is a big win, and we just want to keep it going.

Josiah Didier on keeping an even keel down the stretch
We just wanted to keep playing the same way we were playing all game. We didn’t want to change anything. We knew they were going to push and we just had to push harder back and that’s exactly what we did. We were just playing the right way.

Didier on playing Lehigh Valley
We play them eight times a year so you get pretty used to who you’re playing against. Every game is a battle against these guys. We know what they’re going to bring every night and they know what we’re going to bring. It’s a playoff–type game every time we play them so we’ve just got to make sure we come out on top.

Julien Gauthier on finally breaking through offensively
Of course it’s never going to go how we always want, but I think we stick to it and we practiced hard. We focus a lot on offensive but also on defense. We have a great group of guys, everyone’s working hard and it’s nice to see results.

Gauthier on playing in front of big crowds at Bojangles’ Coliseum
Awesome. We had great fans and it’s really fun to come here and see a lot of people. Everybody is in the tunnel giving us a fist bump and of course they scream when we score. It’s really nice to see.


The Checkers have won four of their last five games … They are now 3-0-1 against the Phantoms this season. The teams play two more two-game sets down the stretch … Didier is on the second three-game point streak of his career (1g, 3a) and is just one shy of his career long set with St. John’s in 2016-17 … Zach Nastasiuk has four points in his last five games (2g, 2a) … Gauthier has four goals in his last five games … Alex Nedeljkovic won his league-best 26th win of the season. He has been in net for each of the Checkers’ last 10 wins dating back to Jan. 6 and has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last nine starts … The Checkers improved to 24-0-0 when leading after two periods … Five goals was the most the Checkers had scored in a single game since Jan. 26 … Forward Martin Necas missed the game due to illness … Forward Aleksi Saarela and defenseman Roland McKeown did not play due to injury … Forward Zack Stortini was a healthy extra.
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.