Checkers Roar Back to Snag Point in OT Loss
CHARLOTTE, NC - The Checkers roared back to pick up a point in front of a raucous crowd Saturday night, but the Toronto Marlies came away with the victory in overtime.
After falling behind early, Nick Schilkey kept his hot hand going to put Charlotte on the board and sparked the home squad. Two more tallies from the re-energized Checkers in the third period brought the game to a tie for the first time all night and forced overtime between these two teams for the second time this season.
The extra frame saw a plethora of chances for both sides, but a misplayed drop pass by Charlotte led to a Toronto breakaway for Mason Marchment, who buried the chance and collected the two points for the visitors.
In his return to the Checkers after a stint in the ECHL, Callum Booth turned in 21 stops on the night to help Charlotte force overtime.
Coach Mike Vellucci on coming back to force overtime
We finally started competing. They were pushing us around. They're an older team and more experienced, and our guys were a little timid. I didn't like that at all and I told them I didn't like it. There's no reason to not come out ready to go physically and mentally. We were not ready and they took it to us. It was a good job by Boother holding us in there.
On what changed after the first period
They responded and that's great. Good for the leadership because they took the bulls by the horns after being embarrassed. We had a packed house, it looked like it was sold out, and we didn't give them the performance we needed in the first. In the second and the third we played great and in the third we didn't even give them a scoring chance I don't think. We played hard but not good enough. We've got to win it in regulation.
On what the team can carry over to tomorrow afternoon's rematch
We need to start on time. It's kind of getting old, but you've got to show up every day, especially when you're paying the defending champs. They're not going to roll over and die. I think the biggest thing we need to learn is that we're the hunted now. We're the team that everybody is going after.
Patrick Brown what changed after the first period
Coach came in and kind of gave it to us after that first period. That was unacceptable to play like that in front of a packed house with so much energy in the building. I thought we took that to heart, responded and pretty much controlled the second period and were able to get a couple more in the third. It was kind of a tough bounce at the end there, but Boother played a hell of a game.
Brown on the comeback
It's just belief. We know we can play with anyone. If we're down a couple of goals, a couple of bad bounces and we weren't playing our best, but we know we can come back from anything. We've done it before and we're going to continue playing hard.
The Checkers have points in nine of their last 10 games (7-1-2) ... Toronto is 3-0-0 all-time at Bojangles' Coliseum ... The Checkers fell to 7-4 in overtime games this season. They have gone to the shootout just once ... Schilkey's goal was his third in two games ... Bean leads AHL rookie defensemen with 26 points (6g, 20a) in 42 games ... Checkers goalie Callum Booth, recalled from the ECHL two days again, was playing his first AHL game since Dec. 16 ... Forward Aleksi Saarela missed the game due to illness ... Forward Steven Lorentz and defensemen Dennis Robertson and Bobby Sanguinetti were healthy extras.
The Checkers will wrap up their January home stand tomorrow afternoon with a 1 p.m. rematch against the Marlies.
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