Checkers top Binghamton on St. Patrick's Day
In front of a packed St. Patrick’s Day crowd the Checkers kept their winning ways going with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Binghamton Devils.

The Devils would take advantage of an early power play to break the ice 80 seconds in, but the Checkers would take over from there. Roland McKeown evened things up shortly after, pinching in to finish off a feed from the red-hot Greg McKegg, then the AHL’s leading goal scorer pushed the Checkers ahead with rifle from the slot to give Charlotte a 2-1 lead through one period of play.

That momentum rolled over into the second as Warren Foegele slapped home a loose puck out front less than three minutes into the frame. The pesky Devils punched back before the second intermission, however, converting their second power-play goal of the night to pull back within one.

The Devils would push hard in the final frame, outshooting the Checkers 16-8, but it was the home team who found the back of the net, with Lucas Wallmark faking a slapshot before sliding a low shot past Mackenzie Blackwood to ice the contest and seal Charlotte’s 4-2 victory.

QUOTES

Coach Mike Vellucci on getting another win
We need the wins. No matter who you play you have to win and every game is big. Now we need tomorrow, because tonight’s game means nothing without tomorrow’s win.

Vellucci on Lucas Wallmark
He’s just so smart. He makes great plays and little passes that a lot of people don’t really notice. They’ve got to make sure they’re ready for his passes because he’s so smart and they come out of nowhere.

Vellucci on Binghamton
I thought they were very good tonight as far as discipline, not just penalty-wise but structurally where they were on the ice. I thought they made a lot of smart plays and that they were a well-organized and structured team. We’ve got to be ready for that.

Roland McKeown on the game
Getting scored on so early, you really have to bounce back. Every team is legitimate in this league and you can’t look at the standings, and I thought we did a good job doing that tonight. We stuck with it the entire game. When you have 3-2 leads going into the third period you’ve got to hold them. That’s one of the keys to pro hockey and I thought we did that tonight.

McKeown on his goal
Kegger made an unbelievable pass there. He’s been playing awesome for us. I always knew that he was a hell of a player and I like having him on our side now because he can really see the ice out there.

NOTES

The St. Patrick's Day jerseys raised $25,075 for charity in a postgame auction ... With 11 games remaining, the Checkers have a seven-point lead over Bridgeport in the playoff race. Bridgeport has two games in hand … The Checkers have won six of their last seven and 12 of their last 15 at home. Their 22 home wins are tied for the most in the AHL … Zykov’s 32nd goal of the season is at least five more than any other player. He is four off the franchise record set by Zach Boychuk in 2013-14. The goal also extended Zykov’s point streak to seven games (7g, 3a) … Foegele’s goal tied him for third in league goal scoring with 26. He has four more goals than the next-highest rookie … McKeown’s goal and assist gave him 23 points for the season, which is more than double what he posted as a rookie last season (11) … McKeown was also plus-2 in the game and is now tied for the AHL lead at plus-35 on the season … Lucas Wallmark had two points (1g, 1a) to extend his assist/point streak to five games (1g 8a) … Greg McKegg’s assist gives him eight points in eight games as a Checker, including an active four-game point streak (3g, 2a) … Alex Nedeljkovic extended a team record with his league-best 29th victory of the season … Forward Andrew Miller and defenseman Jake Chelios missed the game due to injury … Defenseman Josiah Didier served a one-game suspension for elbowing … Forwards Mike Ferrantino, Nick Schilkey, Zack Stortini and Sergey Tolchinsky and goaltender Callum Booth were healthy extras.

UP NEXT

The Checkers wrap up their home stand with a rematch against the Binghamton Devils, with puck drop coming at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
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.

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