Checkers Rout Hershey 7-3 to Extend Series Lead
The Checkers continued right where they left off with a resounding 7-3 win over the Hershey Bears.
Charlotte's offense came out firing with five different skaters tallying goals, including Tomas Jurco and Martin Necas who each contributed two. Jurco had himself a five-point night, adding three assists to his aforementioned two goals.
The first period brought the physical response the Checkers were expecting, as a total of eight penalties were called in the first 20 minutes alone. Zach Nastasiuk opened Charlotte's account after finishing a rebound off a Jurco effort. Hershey managed to tie it up in the closing minutes to make it 1-1 going into the first intermission.
Necas opened the middle frame with his first goal of the playoffs after an all too familiar snipe from the dot to make it 2-1. Just four minutes later, Morgan Geekie walked through, dangled and put home his fifth goal of the playoffs. Once again, Hershey scored right before intermission to claw back to 3-2.
The Checkers' forwards commanded the final 20 minutes. Just four minutes into the third period, Jurco tallied his first goal of the night. Three minutes later, Julien Gauthier sniped his third goal of the playoffs off a feed from the recently returned Trevor Carrick. Jurco and Necas added their second goals of the night shortly after to bring the final score to 7-3.
The Checkers will take their 2-0 series lead up to Hershey on Tuesday, May 7, for Game 3 at 7 p.m.
Coach Mike Vellucci on the game
I thought we played well. I don't think it was a 7-3 game. I think it was a lot closer than that, but I think that power-play goal to make it 3-1 was the difference for us for sure.
Vellucci on the return of Carrick and Nedeljkovic to the lineup
It gives us bodies. Carolina's got a lot of injuries, we've got injuries and everybody's got injuries. It just gives us a little bit more depth.
Vellucci on starting the series with two wins
We have two wins at home, and like I said yesterday we're supposed to win those home games. We haven't really accomplished anything. We've got to make sure we got in there and try to get that first game.
Vellucci on the penalty kill
I thought (Assistant Coach Ryan Warsofsky) did a good job again. We pre-scouted them well and our guys executed. The five-minute major was a tough one and we gave up one, but that was more my fault because the guy lost his stick and we were telling him to come to the bench. It just wasn't a smart move by a lot of us there.
Vellucci on injuries to Clark Bishop and Andrew Poturalski
I haven't seen Bish yet. It didn't look good so hopefully he'll be alright. Potsy is just day-to-day.
Tomas Jurco on the game
I think we played well. We were pretty responsible and didn't turn the puck over as much as some previous games. We scored some goals which obviously helps and you feel pretty good afterwards, so I think we played pretty good overall.
Jurco on his five-point night
I think our line needed a game like this because we didn't produce much before. We had some chances but it just wouldn't go in for us. This was a good game for us and we've just got to keep working hard.
Jurco on the series moving forward
You always want to win two home games. That's the best position you can be in. I believe that if we play the same way we should win another two.
Geekie on getting Carrick and Nedeljkovic back in the lineup
We've got guys coming in and out every day it seems but we've got guys that can step in, play their role and bring what they can to the team. It's awesome to have guys like that, but to get those guys back is huge. Just bringing it every day is definitely important to us.
Tomas Jurco is the first to record five points in an AHL playoff game since Tom Kostopoulos did so with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2016. It is also a new Checkers playoff record, topping the old mark of three set nine times previously ... Seven goals ties the Checkers' playoff record set against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 26 of last season ... Geekie's goal extended his point streak to six games (5g, 2a), making him the only Checker with at least one point in each playoff game. He is one shy of the franchise record set by Zach Boychuk in 2011 ... The Checkers have won four straight playoff games, tying the longest streak in team history set in 2011. They have won 22 of their last 27 games since Feb. 22 ... Tbe Checkers are now 43-0-0 when leading after two periods this season ... Charlotte is 4-0 at home in the playoffs and has won 16 of 18 at the coliseum since Feb. 22 ... Gauthier scored a goal for the second consecutive game ... Trevor Carrick earned an assist in his first game back after a three-game suspension ... Dennis Robertson received a match penalty for checking to the head in the first period ... Clark Bishop left the game after taking a hard collision with the end boards in the second period and did not return ... Forward Andrew Poturalski missed the game due to injury ... Forwards Scott Davidson and Zack Stortini, defenseman Eric Williams and goaltender Jeremy Helvig were healthy extras.
The series shifts to Hershey for as many as three more games starting with Game 3 on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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American Hockey League Stories from May 4, 2019
- Checkers Ride Strong Third Period Past Bears - Hershey Bears
- Checkers Rout Hershey 7-3 to Extend Series Lead - Charlotte Checkers
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- Game Preview: Bears at Checkers, 6 p.m. (Round 2, Game 2) - Hershey Bears
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