The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came to town for the first time this season and got the best of Charlotte, topping the Checkers 5-2.

The recently assigned Valentin Zykov opened the scoring with his league-leading 31st tally of the year, a simple tap in of a slick feed from Lucas Wallmark. That lead wouldn’t hold for long, however, as the Penguins struck twice within the span of a minute to grab the lead heading into the first intermission.

The two teams were evenly locked in the middle frame until the Penguins’ attack against burst through, nabbing the visitors another two goals less than a minute apart to grab a substantial 4-1 advantage. Andrew Poturalski would pull the home squad back with a one-time laser on the power-play late in the second, but that would be all the goals Charlotte would see. Despite a strong push in the third, including a relentless attack with the extra attacker, the Checkers couldn’t solve netminder Anthony Peters and fell to the Penguins 5-2.


Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
I thought we played hard. We only gave up 11 chances and they scored five goals, including the empty-netter. We weren’t good defensively in some spots and Ned could have been a little bit sharper. We hit a couple of posts there in the third period and we could have tied the game up. That’s the way it went today. We’ve got to bounce back and be ready for tomorrow.

Patrick Brown on the team not being able to capitalize on more chances
We weren’t able to get enough net traffic. I think their goalie saw the puck really well. We did a whole bunch of good things all over the ice, but unfortunately we didn’t get enough net traffic. We got a lot of shots, but we’ve got to get bodies to the net.

Brown on giving up two quick goals on two separate occasions
That’s just being disciplined. Anytime there’s a goal or a big hit or anything that changes the tide of the game, you’ve got to mentally reset, refocus and make sure it doesn’t happen again. When it happens twice in a row, that shows we’re not focusing. We’ve got to bear down, focus more and win these big games.


The Checkers are now 2-1-0 in the four-game season series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton that concludes tomorrow. The road team won each game thus far … Zykov’s goal gave him eight points over a five-game streak (6g, 2a) … This was Wallmarks’ third consecutive two-assist game. Since Feb. 2, he has 16 points (3g, 13a) in his last 11 games, seven of which were multi-point outings … Andrew Poturalski extended his point streak to four games (2g, 2a) … Greg McKegg has five points (1g, 4a) in six games as a Checker … After going six straight games without a power-play goal, the Checkers have scored in five straight (5-for-14) … Forwards Marcus Kruger and Andrew Miller, defenseman Jake Chelios and goaltender Jeremy Smith missed the game due to injury … Forward Julien Gauthier missed his third consecutive game with an illness … Forwards Mike Ferrantino and Zack Stortini and defenseman Tyler Ganly were healthy extras.


The teams complete their four-game season series Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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.