Welcoming the Rochester Americans to town for the first time ever, the Checkers couldn’t quite catch up, dropping a 4-1 final.

The visitors were able to break the ice first, finding the back of the net twice early in the opening frame to build up a cushion. The Checkers tilted the ice in their favor from that point, though, controlling large chunks of play and creating several strong scoring chances, but couldn’t quite solve Rochester netminder Adam Wilcox.

The Americans added to their lead late in the third period, but the Charlotte power play came through shortly after to put the home squad on the board with Lucas Wallmark hammering a cross-ice feed from Andrew Poturalski late in the frame. The Checkers would continue to push from there but couldn’t muster any more, and Rochester delivered one final blow on an empty net to seal the 4-1 loss for Charlotte.

QUOTES

Coach Mike Vellucci on the team not being able to come back from an early deficit
We weren’t hard enough in front of their net. We shoot the puck, they clear the rebounds and we’re nowhere to be found. We’ve got to get way more traffic in front of the net. They also blocked a lot of shots and we started passing a little too much. We need to get shots on net and make sure we get the second and third effort.

Vellucci on getting the team to shoot more
I’ve just got to keep talking about it. I can’t do it for them. I understand that when your shots are blocked you want to think pass, but we’ve got to try to get them through their legs and get there.

Vellucci on falling behind 2-0 in the first period
It was two bad goals. Smitty (Jeremy Smith) has got to have both of them – they were not good goals. We gave up two goals on four shots and that put you on your heels and at a disadvantage for the game. He’s got to be better from the get-go.

Andrew Miller on not being able to break through with more goals down the stretch
They pressured us well and blocked a lot of shots. We could have taken more opportunities and been more of a threat. We definitely have to score on some of those chances. It’s more about being decisive and making a quick play. If you’re hesitant either on a shot or a pass, they’re going to be able to react and recover. We’ve got to do things a step quicker on the offensive zone.

Miller on playing Rochester again tomorrow
They’re a good skating team. They created a lot and defended well. Hopefully we can come with a little more jump tomorrow and see what we can do.

NOTES

Wallmark scored three consecutive goals for the Checkers starting with two in the third period of Wednesday’s game and continuing with one in the second period tonight … After scoring one goal in 34 opportunities over an eight-game stretch from Dec. 27-Jan.16, the Checkers went 3-for-7 on the power play in their last two … The teams combined for just three total power-play opportunities tonight … Andrew Poturalski extended his point streak to five games (2g, 4a), his longest of the season … Charlotte is 1-1-0 in the season series with Rochester that continues tomorrow … Forwards Nicolas Roy and Sergey Tolchinsky missed the game due to injury … Forwards Mitchell Heard and Zack Stortini were healthy extras.

UP NEXT

The Checkers wrap up their home stand tomorrow afternoon with a rematch against the Rochester Americans.
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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