Lorentz Scores Stunning Shootout Winner to Beat Toronto
CHARLOTTE, NC - The Checkers pulled off a wild win in front of a full house Saturday night, beating Toronto 4-3 in a shootout.
Down by a goal in the waning moments of regulation, the Checkers made one last rally attempt by pulling their goalie in favor of an extra attacker. After putting some sustained pressure on the visitors, Charlotte broke through to tie the game with just 27 seconds remaining as Jake Bean threaded a point shot through traffic and into the back of the net to push things to overtime.
The extra frame was packed with end-to-end action but neither side could finish things, and the game progressed to a shootout.
The goalies took center stage in the shootout, with both Anton Forsberg and Kasimir Kaskisuo stopping the first four shots they faced. Forsberg denied the Marlies' fifth-round attempt to bring up Steven Lorentz with a chance to end it. Lorentz then swooped in and pulled off a slick deke with a one-handed finish to secure two points in the standings for the home team.
Charlotte's power-play accounted for most of its offense during regulation, striking twice within 74 seconds during the middle frame to pull the Checkers ahead at the time. The Marlies would push back, however, as Mason Marchment followed his game-opening shorthanded goal with two more tallies early in the third to complete the hat trick and put the visitors on top, until Bean's clutch strike.
Coach Ryan Warsofsky battling back in this game
It shows a lot of character in that group. Losing Gibbons, the way we competed and just stuck with it and believed we could get the job done - that's been kind of the motto here. Just play. No matter what happens, no matter the day, no matter the penalties or whatever the situation might be, just play. We've done a good job of that.
Warsofsky on getting the tying goal in the last minute of regulation
The one thing is that we wanted to get it down low and get the thing set up. We have certain looks that we've talked about and we were fortunate to get to that look where we had Beaner and Kaski up top and Kuokkanen around the outside moving the puck around. Beaner is playing at a high level right now and he's a guy that, when he has the puck on his stick in the offensive zone, he can make things happen. He made a great shot selection there.
Warsofsky on selecting players for the shootout
We have a little bit of a idea of what guys' percentages are dating back to junior, and then we practice it. To be honest we talked to Ned or whoever the backup goalie is - last time Forsberg wasn't in and was telling us Kyle Wood was really good.
We're going to use whatever resources we can to get the two points.
Steven Lorentz on his shootout goal
I've done that move in junior before, so I thought I might as well try it out. The boys were all taking shots and he was standing tall, so I thought I'd kind of back him into the net, and then I've got a bit of a long reach so I thought I'd get him going to one side and use the one hand on the other. I was fortunate that it worked out.
Lorentz on battling back in the game
When we're going through it, the mindset on the bench is that we're not out of the game. It's not like we were getting badly outplayed. I actually thought we could have put a few more goals in the net tonight. That being said, we did battle hard and you've got to give that Marchment credit. He made three beautiful shots and we were down, but it just shows our resilience to come back like that. It's icing on the cake when we get the win, and coming back into the room after that is such a good feeling.
Lorentz playing down two forwards due to an injury to Brian Gibbons
Next man up. I know that's the Canes' motto and that's kind of what has to happen here too. When a guy goes down it's an opportunity for another guy. I was in that position last year where I was kind of on the bubble and if someone went down then I had to be ready to step up, fill a role and not let the team down. I think that's what happened tonight.
Jake Bean on his game-tying goal late in the third period
I think once we got the puck I was thinking that we needed to calm it down, get the puck under control, move it around and wait until we could get a good shot away. We didn't need to force anything because we had lots of time. We had good traffic in front and it worked out.
Bean on battling back against a veteran team
I'm sure it could be a little intimidating with how many good guys they have, but we just kind of stuck with our game. It wasn't looking too good with six minutes left when we were on the kill, but we faced adversity and did well.
The postgame jersey auction raised $33,100 for the Checkers Charitable Foundation ... The Checkers' fourth straight win is their second-longest streak of the season, trailing only a six-game run from Dec. 22-Jan. 8. Only one game separates those streaks, as they have now won 10 of 11 ... Lorentz's shootout attempt was the first of his career ... The Checkers have a 1-1 record in shootouts this season. They have just two goals on 12 attempts ... The Checkers have had two penalty shots this season, both of which were misses by Kuokkanen. Kuokkanen missed the only other attempt of his career last season ... Kuokkanen recorded his third consecutive multi-point game. He has eight total points during that time (1g, 7a) ... Oliwer Kaski extended his point streak to four games (3g, 3a) ... Geekie extended his point streak to six games (3g, 3a) ... The Checkers scored on the power play for the sixth consecutive game. They have converted 8 of 21 chances during that time (38.1 percent) ... The Checkers lead the league with 10 shorthanded goals allowed. They also rank third in shorthanded goals scored with seven ... This was the first meeting between the Checkers and Marlies since last season's Eastern Conference Final, which Charlotte won in six games ... Forward Brian Gibbons left the game with an injury and did not return ... Forward Max McCormick served a one-game suspension for accumulating three game misconducts over the course of the season ... Forward Dave Gust missed the game due to illness ... Forwards Stelio Mattheos and Kerby Rychel missed the game due to injury ... Forward Cedric Lacroix was a healthy extra.
The Checkers and Marlies square off tomorrow for a rematch at 1 p.m.
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