Charlotte’s initial offensive spark came from a fresh face, as former UMass standout Jacob Pritchard launched a puck from a low angle that found its way in for his first pro goal. The Checkers’ scoring leaders then took over in the middle frame, with Andrew Poturalski and Morgan Geekie both lighting the lamp to push their advantage even further heading into the third.
With their backs against the wall the Bruins finally broke through on the score sheet for the first time in six periods to push back against Charlotte, but the Checkers never wavered from then on. Poturalski took off for an empty net dagger in the final minute of regulation and that sealed the deal for Charlotte.
While the Checkers had no shortage of offensive production in Game 4, their stifling defense played a key role in the victory as well. Alex Nedeljkovic, coming off a shutout performance in Game 3, stopped 25 of 26 to earn the win, and the Checkers killed off all five man advantages the Bruins were given, holding them scoreless on 10 consecutive power plays dating back to Wednesday night.
I thought it was a pretty good game. We had them 3-0 again, played pretty good and didn’t give them many opportunities. In the third we got a little loose but again we killed five power plays and only had one. It’s a little tough to take that many penalties, but they went 0-for-10 on the power play in those last two games so I give (Assistant coach Ryan Warsofsky) a lot of credit for the penalty kill.
Vellucci on a big offensive series by Andrew Poturalski and Morgan Geekie
Poturalski, Geekie – those guys really had a good series here, but what got us going was Pritchard’s first pro goal. We had just had a couple of chances there and their goalie made some big saves. He’s a good young goalie. He played his first pro game but he looked really good.
Vellucci on playing Providence
We played them eight times in the regular season and this was Game 4. It’s a lot, so things were getting nasty obviously. We played hard, and give them a lot of credit because they worked and competed right to the end and that made us compete even harder.
Andrew Poturalski on closing the series
It’s definitely tough to close a team out, especially them because they’re a good team and they play hard. They definitely closed things up a little bit tonight, so everybody had to step it up another notch. I thought our boys battled back and got a big win.
Poturalski on his line with Geekie and Aleksi Saarela
We’re just working hard out there, and we had some good momentum coming in from the regular season to carry into the playoffs. We all love playing with each other and playing hard and smart. With our skill and speed it’s fun to be out there.
Poturalski on Jacob Pritchard
He did a great job out there. That’s been our mentality all year just to be the next man up. He stepped right in that role, played a great game and got a huge goal to get us going. Whoever has scored the first goal in this series won every game, so for him to get us going like that is definitely huge. Congrats to him.
Jacob Pritchard on his goal
I actually saw (Julien Gauthier) back door and it was meant to be a pass, but I’ll take it. It’s pretty cool to get the first one out of the way and pretty cool to do it at home too.
Pritchard on jumping into the playoffs after recently finishing his college career
I think the more you play the less you kind of think. You don’t necessarily realize you’re in the AHL playoffs, you just play hockey. That’s made it a lot easier.