Checkers Come from Behind to Beat Pack, 4-3Mar 4, 2018
By Nick Ward
The Charlotte Checkers scored four second-period goals Sunday at the XL Center to wipe out a 2-0 deficit, on the way to a 4-3 win over the Wolf Pack.
The Wolf Pack got goals from Adam Tambellini, late in the first period, and Filip Chytil, early in the second, to jump out to the lead, but Warren Foegele had a goal and an assist for the Checkers, and Brenden Kichton, Clark Bishop and Valentin Zykov all also scored during Charlotte’s second-period outburst.
“It’s frustrating because we started with a lot of energy, but we let the game get away from us for that block of time in the second,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said.
Charles Williams got the nod in goal for the Wolf Pack, for his first start of his AHL career, and his second Wolf Pack appearance. Williams was signed to a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement on Thursday, from the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL.
After an impressive shift of outhustling their opponent, the Wolf Pack were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for an extended period of time, allowing for several offensive chances in the latter stages of the first period. Ultimately, Tambellini was able to score off of a wrist shot, set up by a drop pass from Brendan Smith, with 1:42 left in the first period of play.
After a strong first period both offensively and defensively, the Wolf Pack came out quickly in the second period and scored just 30 seconds into the period, as Chytil led the charge with a wrist shot from the left side. The rookie Chytil scored his 10th goal of the season to extend the Wolf Pack lead to 2-0.
The Charlotte comeback began at 7:06, when Foegele was able to squeak one by Williams on a partial breakaway.
The Checkers then exploded for three goals in under two minutes, starting at 14:49.
Kichton tied the game with a power-play goal on a shot from the right point, threading the puck through a screen and past Williams.
Only 16 seconds later, at 15:05, Bishop gave Charlotte a 3-2 lead, burying the rebound of a point-blank shot by Foegele.
Zykov, the AHL’s goal-scoring leader, then got what turned out to be the game-winner at 16:46, his 28th marker of the season. Greg McKegg carried the puck around the Wolf Pack net from left to right and centered to a wide-open Zykov, who easily beat Williams.
That led McCambridge to replace Williams with Chris Nell, who would hold the Checkers scoreless the rest of the way, stopping seven shots.
As third period began, the Wolf Pack looked to close the gap, with a good look at the net from Steven Fogarty, but he was denied by a sprawling save by Charlotte goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
The Wolf Pack had a good chance to get back into the game after back to back penalties against the Checkers, and playing 58 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey, and the Wolf Pack were able to do just that. After some tic-tac-toe passing, Scott Kosmachuk was able to find Boo Nieves right in front of the net at 11:06, for an easy redirection for a power play goal.
The Wolf Pack were unable to pick up any more offensive momentum, though, as they attempted to pull Nell to put an extra skater on the ice as the clock was winding down, but the Wolf Pack were called for too many men on the ice with 1:11 remaining in the final period of play.
The same two teams meet for a back-to-back set in Charlotte Friday and Saturday nights, starting with a 7:15 PM faceoff at Bojangles Coliseum on Friday. All of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next Wolf Pack home game is next Friday, March 16th, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 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.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 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.
Charlotte Checkers 4 at Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Sunday, March 4, 2018 - XL Center
Charlotte 0 4 0 - 4
Hartford 1 1 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Tambellini 13 (Smith, Kosmachuk), 18:18. Penalties-Zborovskiy Hfd (tripping), 3:38; Zborovskiy Hfd (hooking), 13:48.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Chytil 10 (Lettieri, Schneider), 0:30. 3, Charlotte, Foegele 24 (Poturalski), 7:06. 4, Charlotte, Kichton 3 (Saarela, Roy), 14:49 (PP). 5, Charlotte, Bishop 7 (Foegele, Schilkey), 15:05. 6, Charlotte, Zykov 28 (McKegg, Tolchinsky), 16:46. Penalties-Poturalski Cha (holding), 7:31; Smith Hfd (boarding), 13:17; Foegele Cha (holding), 19:29.
3rd Period-7, Hartford, Nieves 5 (Kosmachuk, Sproul), 11:06 (PP). Penalties-Carrick Cha (slashing), 9:13; Didier Cha (tripping), 10:15; served by Gropp Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 18:49.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 12-11-7-30. Hartford 10-12-13-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 4; Hartford 1 / 4.
Goalies-Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 25-11-2 (35 shots-32 saves). Hartford, Williams 0-1-1 (23 shots-19 saves); Nell 7-7-0 (7 shots-7 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (77), Guillaume Labonte (35).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Kevin Briganti (39).