Checkers Win Wild Game 1 to Take Series Lead
PROVIDENCE, RI - The first game of Charlotte's playoff run was a wild one, with the Checkers notching a thrilling 5-4 win in Providence.
Things started out strong for the visitors, as Morgan Geekie lit the lamp twice in the first four minutes of play. The Bruins wouldn't roll over, however, punching back with three straight tallies to grab themselves the lead before the first buzzer.
The Checkers took back the momentum in the middle frame, with Tomas Jurco chipping in a power-play strike to even the score early and then Julien Gauthier storming the crease to push the back-and-forth contest back in Charlotte's favor.
The game's rollercoaster trend continued even into the third, as the Bruins once again drew the score even following a disallowed goal by Charlotte. The Checkers would again bounce back just seconds later, however, with Bobby Sanguinetti launching a puck from the right boards that found its way into the back of the net and put the visitors back on top heading into the home stretch.
The Bruins would push back, outshooting Charlotte 10-6 during the final frame, but couldn't solve Alex Nedeljkovic, who finished the night with 23 saves and picked up the win to give the Checkers a 1-0 lead in the first-round series.
The Checkers have an all-time record of 5-0 in playoff openers ... This was Geekie's first multi-goal game as a professional. He was one of four Checkers players playing his first professional playoff game ... Jurco has goals in three straight games ... Gauthier has goals in five straight games and in eight of his last nine ... Martin Necas had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (2g, 9a) ... After missing four games due to injury, Andrew Poturalski had two assists ... The Checkers improved to 39-0-0 when leading after two periods this season ... Forward Jacob Pritchard made his professional debut after signing an amateur tryout with the Checkers earlier in the week .. .Defenseman Roland McKeown missed the game due to injury ... Forwards Scott Davidson and Zack Stortini and defensemen Derek Sheppard and Eric Williams were healthy extras.
Game 2 will take place Sunday in Providence with a 5:05 p.m. puck drop.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 20, 2019
- Condors Split on Road and Host Game 3 Tuesday - Bakersfield Condors
- Wolves Come Through in Game 2 - Chicago Wolves
- Series Tied After Wolves' Game 2 Win - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Vanecek Shuts out Bridgeport, Series Tied 1-1 - Hershey Bears
- Bridgeport silenced despite 39 shots on goal in Game 2 setback - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Crunch Face 2-0 Series Deficit After 5-1 Loss to Monsters - Syracuse Crunch
- P-Bruins Drop Thrilling Game One to Checkers - Providence Bruins
- Monsters Defeat Crunch 5-1, Claim 2-0 Lead in North Division Semi-Final Series - Cleveland Monsters
- Checkers Win Wild Game 1 to Take Series Lead - Charlotte Checkers
- American Hockey League Announces Suspension - AHL
- Flames Sign Forward Martin Pospisil - Stockton Heat
- Derek Barach Inks AHL Contract with Monsters for 2019-20 Season - Cleveland Monsters
- Tampa Bay Lightning Reassign Forward Otto Somppi to Orlando Solar Bears - Syracuse Crunch
- Capitals Recall Goaltender Ilya Samsonov from Hershey - Hershey Bears
- Sound Tigers Host Hershey in Game 2 Tonight - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Game Preview: Bears at Sound Tigers, 7 p.m. - Atlantic Division Semifinals Game 2 - Hershey Bears
- Griffins Seize Game 1 and Home Ice from Wolves - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Bellows scores twice, including game-winner in double overtime - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Condors Win Game One in Colorado, 3-2 - Bakersfield Condors
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.