The Checkers left no doubt in their rematch against the Devils, laying down an 8-1 smackdown in front of a raucous crowd on Wrestling Night.

An early goal from newcomer Tomas Jurco was answered shortly after by an equalizer for Binghamton midway through the opening frame, but it would be all Checkers from that point – to the tune of seven unanswered tallies.

Charlotte’s special teams sprung to life against the Devils, converting three times on seven man advantages while keeping Binghamton scoreless on their four power plays – as well as preventing any of the shorthanded slip-ups from the night before.

In only his second game with the team, Jurco lit the lamp twice through the first two periods and leading scorer Andrew Poturalski broke through with a staggering four-point night as two of six Charlotte skaters to rack up multiple points.

Jurco wasn’t the only newcomer to make an impact on the game, as Dustin Tokarski debuted between the pipes. The veteran was aided by a stingy defense in front of him but answered the call on 17 of the 18 shots he faced on the night to pick up his first win with the Checkers.


Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
I thought we played structurally pretty good. They did give us a pretty good push the second and (Tokarski) made some nice saves and we survived it, and then we pushed back and got those two goals that started to put a little room between us.

Vellucci on Tomas Jurco
He’s a good player and had two nice goals. The first goal was a great play by Geeks and Marty, and on the five-on-three we had some good chances and he ripped it top shelf. It was a good game by him for sure.

Vellucci on moving Martin Necas to the wing
I just wanted to free him up a little bit. He was a little stagnant in the middle and was maybe worrying too much about his d-zone. He had a lot of jump today. He was really skating and made some good plays and it really loosened him up a little bit.

Vellucci on the schedule
You just want to play good every game. We have a tough schedule coming up against some really good teams, but we had this little home stand here and we play a lot more games at home. It’s good to win at home and play in front of this crowd. It’s been packed for the last month and half or two months. It’s very exciting to be here.

Tomas Jurco on his start with the team
I think it’s been pretty good for me so far. I feel like I fit in well and it’s a game that I like to play. It’s two important wins for us, so it’s been great so far.

Jurco on playing with Martin Necas
I think we like a similar type of game. You saw on that first goal that it worked out well and we’ve got to keep doing it. I think we’re both having fun and hopefully it’s going to keep going like that.

Andrew Poturalski on the big win
You can’t really take any teams for granted in this league. We knew coming out we wanted to keep the pedal to the floor because every two points the rest of the way is huge for us. We wanted to come out strong and get the win.

Poturalski on Jurco
It’s great. He complements our team and does everything that all the other guys are doing. To have another guy who has elite skill like that helps us out a ton and alleviates pressure so they can’t focus in on a certain line. We’ve got all lines that can score and teams have to be aware of everybody out there.


Eight goals is the Checkers’ new season high, and three power-play goals ties a season high set once previously on Oct. 26 … This was Jurco’s first multi-goal game in the AHL since Nov. 25, 2015 … Poturalski had four points (2g, 2a), tying his season and career high … Brown has goals in consecutive games … Morgan Geekie had two assists, giving him five points (1g, 4a) over a four-game streak … Trevor Carrick has five points (1g, 4a) in his last five games following a seven-game drought … Martin Necas had three assists for his first multi-point game since Jan. 6 … Dustin Tokarski picked up the win in his Checkers debut, marking the first time a goaltender other than Alex Nedeljkovic has won a game for the Checkers since Jan. 5 (Scott Darling). Checkers goalies other than Nedeljkovic were 0-5-2 in the interim … Roland McKeown’s plus-4 rating ties his career high and the highest posted by a Checker this season … Forward Zack Stortini, defenseman Dennis Robertson and goaltender Callum Booth were healthy extras.


With this successful home stand behind them, the Checkers will set out on the road for a two-game set in Lehigh Valley starting on Friday.
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.