Charlotte Checkers goalie Jeremy Smith
After an impressive offensive showing the night before, the Checkers fell flat in their rematch with the Utica Comets, stumbling to a 6-3 loss.

The contest yielded 80 penalty minutes between the two clubs and saw four players handed game misconducts. The first occurrence came right off the opening draw, as the two captains dropped the gloves and both Patrick Brown and Carter Bancks were sent to the locker rooms. Then in the waning moments of the first frame Zack Stortini and Joseph LaBate tangled immediately after a face off, resulting in both squads exiting the period short a pair of forwards for the rest of the night.

The Comets flipped last night’s script on the Checkers, breaking a 1-1 deadlock early on with five unanswered goals on Charlotte netminder Jeremy Smith. With a hefty 6-1 advantage heading into the final moments of regulation, Utica held on as the Checkers cashed in a pair of late strikes to cut into the deficit, but fell short by a 6-3 score.


Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
We didn’t have a good start again. We were turning pucks over and they capitalized on it and went 2-for-2 on the power play to start the game. We’ve got to get better on special teams and have to get better starts. That’s going to be on me to figure out.

Vellucci on the difference from last night’s game
(Utica) had a lot of pushback. They came out and wanted a fight, and we didn’t answer it early enough. We had a little bit of a pushback but we just couldn’t score on their goalie. It’s a tough league we play in and it’s physical and they were more physical than us.

Vellucci on Brown and Stortini earning game misconducts for fights off the faceoff
Both of their guys instigated it, so I don’t understand why our guys got thrown out. Their guy is a center and starts the game on left wing to start a fight, and then the same when the other guy comes out and jumps Stortini. I don’t understand why our guys got thrown out for that.

Vellucci on having to play a more physical gamebr /> It’s a grinding game. We were down to 10 forwards so there was a lot of ice time and you’ve got to fight through it. Those are the games you’ve got to learn to win. That was their game plan and it worked for them.


Charlotte missed a chance to win three consecutive games for the first time this season. They have three two-game winning streaks … The Checkers’ 23 shots allowed in the first period tied the franchise record set on Feb. 25, 2011 … Prior to today, the Checkers had not allowed six goals since a 7-2 loss to Bakersfield on March 5 of last season (also at home) … The Checkers have allowed at least four goals in all three of their losses … Charlotte fell to 2-2-0 at home but is 4-1-0 on the road, where it will play its next eight games ... Utica scored on both of its power plays while the Checkers went 0-for-5 … Forward Warren Foegele missed the game due to an illness … Forward Sergey Tolchinsky and defenseman Trevor Carrick missed out due to injury … Forward Nick Schilkey and defenseman Tyler Ganly were healthy extras.
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.