Alex Nedeljkovic
The Checkers’ return to Bojangles’ Coliseum was a low-scoring affair, but the home team emerged victorious by a 1-0 score thanks to a joint shutout effort.

Alex Nedeljkovic started the game for Charlotte and stopped all 17 shots he was faced with through 40 minutes of play before Callum Booth took over for the third frame. For the final 20 minutes the second-year netminder denied all six shots he saw down the stretch.

The lone offensive breakthrough came via Dennis Robertson, who jumped into the play early on in the second and ripped a shot past Hartford’s goaltender for his third tally of the season.

That would prove to be all the Checkers needed to snag another victory, their fourth straight overall.

QUOTES

Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
I thought we played really good for two periods. I didn’t like our third period – I thought we were a little loose with the puck. All their chances were on our turnovers. I kept talking to the guys about it but we need to tighten that up in the third. You’ve got to learn to win those low-scoring games, and we didn’t give them that much.

Vellucci on Dennis Robertson’s goal
The joke was that we didn’t know we were ever going to hear the song he picked out for when he scored a goal. It was a great shot. There wasn’t much room because their goalie played really well. He put it bar down and it was a big lift for us.

Vellucci on switching goaltenders after the second period
I had gotten a call from Carolina that (Nedeljkovic) is possibly playing tomorrow night and they didn’t want him to play back-to-backs, so we pulled him. We felt very comfortable with Ned in the goal but Boother has been good this year and he played an excellent third period.

Vellucci on Callum Booth entering the game
I thought they pushed hard and they answered really well. He was put in a very difficult situation and he answered the bell. He’s got a lot of confidence, and part of it is that we sent him down to the east coast, he played a bunch of games, he got a bunch of wins and he got his legs under him again.

Dennis Robertson on the game
It’s huge. That whole first period and most of the second we were all over him but couldn’t solve him. Lots of times you just need one to get the confidence going and keep rolling. We took it to them in the first half and let off a little bit at the end, but it was good to get that one at least.

Robertson on Booth entering the game
He played fantastic coming in cold like that. Sometimes when they’re pressing and down one they’re going to throw everything at him, so we tried our best to keep things to the outside and not give them any grade-A chances.

Roberston on scoring the first goal since players picked their own goal songs
The odds wouldn’t have been on me for that first song, but I’ll take it. It sounded good.

Callum Booth on entering the game after two periods
You can’t complain about any ice time you get. You prepare every game like you’re starting and you’ve got to be ready for that. It’s a testament to how good of a group of guys are in there that they were able to switch goalies like that and perform that way in front of me. I’m super grateful.

Booth on going back and forth between the Checkers and the ECHL in recent weeks
I think you’ve just got to take it as it comes. You’re given an opportunity and you’ve just got to do your best to seize it. I’m just taking it one game at a time and trying to work my bag off every time I get the chance and see where that takes me.

NOTES

The Checkers extended their win streak to four games, which trails a pair of earlier five-game streaks for their longest of the season … Charlotte has won a season-high four straight at Bojangles’ Coliseum … This was the Checkers’ first shutout since Feb. 18 of last season and first in team history that was not credited to a single goaltender … Nedeljkovic did receive credit for the win, allowing him to regain sole possession of the AHL lead with 13 on the season … The Checkers improved to 5-113-12 all-time when scoring one or fewer goals … Charlotte went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill … Robertson scored his third goal of the season and first since scoring twice on Oct. 12 … This was the third meeting between Charlotte and Hartford this month. The Checkers are 2-1-0 thus far … Defenseman Josiah Didier missed the game due to injury … Forward Zack Stortini and defenseman Josh Wesley were healthy extras.

UP NEXT

The Checkers' home stand continues with a Saturday rematch with Hartford. The 6 p.m. game also marks the team's annual Teddy Bear Toss.
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.