Charlotte Checkers 3, Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Charlotte, NC, December 15, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 Saturday night at Bojangles’ Coliseum, but the Eastern Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers had the last word, defeating the Wolf Pack 3-2 for a sweep of back-to-back games between the two teams in Charlotte.
The Checkers won the first of the pair, 1-0, on Thursday night.
“I thought from the start we had good energy, didn’t allow them to play their game by gaining speed through the neutral zone,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We got in their lanes, imposed our will on them with regards to playing a physical style, and I thought we deserved a better fate. That’s obviously a good hockey team over there, but I’m disappointed for the guys that they weren’t able to at least get a point out of that game.”
After being shut out for the first time on the season Thursday, the Wolf Pack scored only 50 seconds into Saturday’s game, on Cole Schneider’s team-leading ninth goal of the season. Ryan Lindgren flung the puck at the net from the left point, and Schneider deflected it past Checker goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (27 saves).
The Wolf Pack allowed only four shots on Alexandar Georgiev (17 saves) in the period, but one of those would find the back of the net at 17:04, with the teams skating four-on-four. Martin Necas took a pass from Aleksi Saarela and put on a burst of speed down the right side in the Wolf Pack zone, getting behind the Hartford defense. Georgiev sprawled to try to stop Necas’ bid as he cut across the middle, and Georgiev got a piece of the try, but it went off of him and just over the goal line.
The Wolf Pack’s Vinni Lettieri and Charlotte’s Saku Maenalanen then traded goals in the second frame.
Lettieri gave Hartford its second lead of the game at 2:23 on a power play, with Roland McKeown in the penalty box for slashing. John Gilmour sent a feed from the middle of the blue line to Lettieri on the right side, and his hard shot from just below the top of the circle beat a screened Nedeljkovic.
Maenalanen brought Charlotte back into a tie at 8:02, after Georgiev stopped a drive from the blue line by Michal Cajkovsky. The rebound caromed off the end boards to Maenalanen at the left side of the goal mouth, and he snuck it past Georgiev on the stick side.
The game-winner came on a Charlotte power play at 9:24 of the third, with Peter Holland off for roughing. Nick Schilkey moved the puck from the right circle to Andrew Poturalski in the opposite circle. He whipped it toward the net, and Nicolas Roy re-directed it in from in front.
The next action for the Wolf Pack is on home ice this Wednesday, December 19, when the Providence Bruins come to the XL Center for a 7:00 PM game. That is another chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas, all for just $40.
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 2 at Charlotte Checkers 3
Saturday, December 15, 2018 – Bojangles’ Coliseum
Hartford 1 1 0 – 2
Charlotte 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Hartford, Schneider 9 (Lindgren, Meskanen), 0:50. 2, Charlotte, Necas 7 (Saarela, Bean), 17:04. Penalties-St. Amant Hfd (hooking), 15:54; Carrick Cha (tripping), 16:49.
2nd Period-3, Hartford, Lettieri 5 (Gilmour, Fogarty), 2:23 (PP). 4, Charlotte, Maenalanen 5 (Roy, Cajkovsky), 8:02. Penalties-McKeown Cha (slashing), 1:38; Renouf Cha (interference), 2:23; Poturalski Cha (tripping), 8:45; O’Gara Hfd (roughing), 14:12; Roy Cha (roughing), 14:12.
3rd Period-5, Charlotte, Roy 9 (Poturalski, Schilkey), 9:24 (PP). Penalties-Gettinger Hfd (high-sticking), 0:23; Holland Hfd (roughing), 9:25; Wallin Hfd (fighting), 10:48; Brown Cha (fighting), 10:48.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-12-9-29. Charlotte 4-7-9-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Charlotte 1 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Georgiev 2-6-0 (20 shots-17 saves). Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 14-4-1 (29 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Corey Syvret (42), Dan Kelly (55).
Linesmen-Tyson Baker (88), Julien Fournier (73).