Checker Power Play Sinks Wolf PackMar 23, 2019
(Photo courtesy of Charlotte Checkers)
Martin Necas had a goal and an assist, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 31 saves Saturday night at Bojangles’ Coliseum, as the Charlotte Checkers defeated the Wolf Pack 3-1, in the first of back-to-back games between the two teams in Charlotte.
Shawn St. Amant scored the only Wolf Pack goal, and Brandon Halverson made 23 saves in the Hartford net. Patrick Brown and Julien Gauthier had the other Checker goals, and Jake Bean had two assists. The loss dropped the Wolf Pack to 0-9-0-0 all-time at Charlotte.
Two of Charlotte’s three goals were power-play scores, and the other came one second after a man advantage ended.
“The start of the game, I liked how we came out, on the road against a very good team, then we start getting into penalty troubles,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “Had momentum, let it slip, two power-play goals-against, that was our downfall. But I felt five-on-five, the game plan we had in place gave us a chance to win the game, just can’t give their power play the chance to get on the ice as many times as we did.”
The Wolf Pack got off to a strong start in the game, with seven of the first eight shots, but St. Amant was hit with a delay-of-game penalty at 9:13, after he cleared the puck out of play, and the Checkers capitalized.
Halverson stopped a shot from the right-wing circle by Tomas Jurco, but the rebound went off of Halverson’s stick right to Necas at the left side of the slot, and he quickly fired the puck in.
Brown increased the Charlotte lead to 2-0 just 1:15 into the second period, one second after a kneeing penalty to Brandon Crawley expired. Andrew Poturalski passed the puck from the right-wing boards to Brown along the goal line, and he stepped in front and flicked a shot past Halverson.
The Wolf Pack got on the scoreboard at 6:02, with St. Amant scoring his third goal of the season and second in two games. St. Amant got the puck to Ryan Dmowski, playing his first pro game out of U. Mass-Lowell, behind the net, and he centered it into the slot. That pass found St. Amant, driving the middle, and he fired the puck past Nedeljkovic on the glove side.
Dmowski was one of three players making their Wolf Pack debuts in the game. Nick Jones, fresh out of the University of North Dakota, was also seeing his first pro action, and eighth-year pro defenseman Matt Register played his first Wolf Pack game, up from Toledo of the ECHL.
“I liked that line, of [Dmowski], Terrence (Wallin) in the middle, and St. Amant,” said McCambridge. “I thought that was a real good line for us, created some energy, scored a goal from a heavy forecheck. I thought Jones did some really good things, little things that help you win hockey games, blocked shots, smart with the puck, good awareness when he didn’t have it. And I thought with Matt Register, you could see the experience that he has, pro games under his belt, gave us some poise on the power play.”
The Checkers restored the two-goal margin at 13:30, with their second power-play goal of the game. With Matt Beleskey off for tripping, Tim Gettinger was unable to poke the puck past Bean at the left point, and he found Gauthier all alone in front of Halverson. Gauthier had time to make a move to the forehand, and he beat Halverson from close range.
That was the extent of the scoring, despite a 14-3 shots advantage for the Wolf Pack in the third period.
“I liked our effort overall, five-on-five, being able to hang with that team,” McCambridge said. “I’m proud of that part of the game, but just too many opportunities for their power play.”
The Wolf Pack and Checkers go back at each other Sunday afternoon at Bojangles’ Coliseum, with faceoff at 3:00 PM. All of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 AM, and 100.9 FM, WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at theahl.com/AHLTV.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is this Friday, March 29, also against the Checkers, a 7:15 PM faceoff. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs, and $2 beers and fountain sodas, through the start of the second period, presented by Nomads Adventure Quest.
Tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2018-19 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Hartford Wolf Pack 1 at Charlotte Checkers 3
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - Bojangles' Coliseum
Hartford 0 1 0 - 1
Charlotte 1 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Necas 14 (Jurco, Bean), 10:17 (PP). Penalties-St. Amant Hfd (delay of game), 9:13; Crawley Hfd (tripping), 14:31; Lindgren Hfd (cross-checking), 15:25; Brown Cha (hooking), 15:38; Crawley Hfd (kneeing), 19:14.
2nd Period-2, Charlotte, Brown 16 (Poturalski, Carrick), 1:15. 3, Hartford, St. Amant 3 (Dmowski), 6:02. 4, Charlotte, Gauthier 20 (Bean, Necas), 13:30 (PP). Penalties-Beleskey Hfd (tripping), 12:39.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Bean Cha (interference), 2:14.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-8-14-32. Charlotte 11-12-3-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 2; Charlotte 2 / 5.
Goalies-Hartford, Halverson 7-6-3 (26 shots-23 saves). Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 31-7-5 (32 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Corey Syvret (42), Jesse Gour (25).
Linesmen-Tim Lyons (33), Terry Wicklum (58).