Checkers Squander Lead in 5-4 Loss to Crunch
CHARLOTTE, NC - After pulling off a comeback victory last night, the Checkers found themselves on the other side in Saturday's rematch, falling victim to Syracuse's rally in a 5-4 loss.
The Crunch opened the scoring late in the first, but Janne Kuokkanen almost singlehandedly pulled his squad back into things. The forward lit the lamp twice on either side of the first buzzer and then set up a Jake Bean power-play tally to give the home side a 3-1 lead midway through regulation.
That lead would evaporate thanks to a strong pushback from the Crunch that resulted in three unanswered goals, including a pair with 90 seconds of each other in the third period. The wild back-and-forth contest then took another turn in the latter half of the third as Steven Lorentz drew things back to a tie once again with a shorthanded strike, but it wouldn't last. The Crunch would get the last laugh via a Boris Katchouk slap shot that found the back of the net with less than three minutes left in regulation, ending the high-scoring affair and snapping Charlotte's winning streak.
Coach Ryan Warsofsky on the team's effort
At times, it was really good. At times, it wasn't good.
Warsofsky on if the team could take positives from Lorentz's tying goal
You could say that. We could have folded there but we got a shorthanded goal to tie it up. It's a positive that we kept playing. That's the one positive, but we're not looking for positives. We're looking for wins. It's pretty black and white. You either win or you don't.
Warsofky on allowing Syracuse to come back from a 3-1 deficit
We weren't hard enough on pucks. Pretty simple. Not enough detail in our d-zone. The game plan is pretty simple. If we defended well and were hard on pucks, we'd have a chance. We didn't do that, really all night.
Warsofsky on moving forward to another game on Tuesday
I think that's something we'll digest here over the next 24 hours and see how we can approach it. We'll continue to learn and teach and coach. This is a lesson to be learned that you have to play for 60 minutes. It's been an issue for us the whole year in our losses. That's something that we can learn and lean on a little bit so it doesn't happen again.
The Checkers missed an opportunity for their first three-game win streak of the season and for the season sweep of Syracuse. This was the Checkers' first regulation loss to Syracuse since Feb. 18, 2018, ending an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) ... Each team scored three unanswered goals during the game (Checkers up 3-1, Syracuse up 4-3) ... Kuokkanen's three points (2g, 1a) were a season high. He has five points (2g, 3a) in his last two games and eight points (4g, 4a) in his last eight ... Jake Bean's two points give him eight (2g, 7a) in his last seven games and sole possession of the team's scoring lead ... Chase Priskie has four points (1g, 3a) during a three-game point streak ... The Checkers went 2-for-3 on the power play, marking the third time in their last five games that they scored multiple goals on the power play ... Lorentz's goal was the Checkers' fifth shorthanded goal of the season, tying them for sixth in the AHL ... Forward Terry Broadhurst left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return ... Forwards Stelio Mattheos and Kerby Rychel missed the game due to injury ... Forward Cedric Lacroix and defensemen Derek Sheppard and Oliwer Kaski were healthy extras.
The home stand rolls on for Charlotte when they host Hartford Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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