The Devils would take advantage of an early power play to break the ice 80 seconds in, but the Checkers would take over from there. Roland McKeown evened things up shortly after, pinching in to finish off a feed from the red-hot Greg McKegg, then the AHL’s leading goal scorer pushed the Checkers ahead with rifle from the slot to give Charlotte a 2-1 lead through one period of play.
That momentum rolled over into the second as Warren Foegele slapped home a loose puck out front less than three minutes into the frame. The pesky Devils punched back before the second intermission, however, converting their second power-play goal of the night to pull back within one.
The Devils would push hard in the final frame, outshooting the Checkers 16-8, but it was the home team who found the back of the net, with Lucas Wallmark faking a slapshot before sliding a low shot past Mackenzie Blackwood to ice the contest and seal Charlotte’s 4-2 victory.
We need the wins. No matter who you play you have to win and every game is big. Now we need tomorrow, because tonight’s game means nothing without tomorrow’s win.
Vellucci on Lucas Wallmark
He’s just so smart. He makes great plays and little passes that a lot of people don’t really notice. They’ve got to make sure they’re ready for his passes because he’s so smart and they come out of nowhere.
Vellucci on Binghamton
I thought they were very good tonight as far as discipline, not just penalty-wise but structurally where they were on the ice. I thought they made a lot of smart plays and that they were a well-organized and structured team. We’ve got to be ready for that.
Roland McKeown on the game
Getting scored on so early, you really have to bounce back. Every team is legitimate in this league and you can’t look at the standings, and I thought we did a good job doing that tonight. We stuck with it the entire game. When you have 3-2 leads going into the third period you’ve got to hold them. That’s one of the keys to pro hockey and I thought we did that tonight.
McKeown on his goal
Kegger made an unbelievable pass there. He’s been playing awesome for us. I always knew that he was a hell of a player and I like having him on our side now because he can really see the ice out there.