April 14, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Charlotte Checkers
CHARLOTTE, NC - A point earned for getting to overtime at Grand Rapids ended up being enough for the Checkers to stay alive in the playoff race.
Charlotte's result, coupled with Cleveland's 1-0 loss to Manitoba, means that the Checkers can clinch their first playoff berth since 2013 by earning just one point in their regular-season finale at Chicago tomorrow (8 p.m.).
Charlotte could have clinched a playoff berth with a win tonight, but the Griffins' Eric Tangradi ended those hopes with a goal at the 1:33 mark of overtime. That set up a tense finish with eyes on Cleveland's game that ended mere minutes later, with Cleveland having the opportunity to elminate the Checkers with a victory, but Manitoba held on for the shutout.
Rookies provided all of the scoring for Charlotte in the form of Andrew Poturalski, who recorded his second goal in as many games and fourth point (3g, 1a) in four contests since returning from his first NHL stint with the Carolina Hurricanes, and Haydn Fleury, whose blast from the point tied the game midway through the third period.
Tom McCollum made 38 saves for the Checkers, who extended their point streak to six games (4-0-2) despite suffering overtime/shootout losses to the Griffins in each of the last two.