It took a little longer than 60 minutes, but the Checkers were able to pull off another win against the first-place Wolf Pack.

After a scoreless first, a back-and-forth battle erupted in the second. Hartford opened the scoring with a power-play strike early and added another tally minutes later, but both were quickly answered by Charlotte to even the score after 40 minutes.

Steven Lorentz gave the Checkers their first lead of the night with a snipe early in the third, but Hartford launched a seeing-eye point shot into the back of the net minutes later to draw the score to a deadlock once again.

Neither side could finish the job in regulation so a hectic overtime period ensued, with both sides creating several quality chances. It was Janne Kuokkanen who ended things, though, as he kicked down a feed from Chase Priskie and lofted a shot into the top corner to clinch Charlotte the two points.

QUOTES

Coach Ryan Warsofsky on the game
I thought we responded pretty well. I didn’t love our start – they got us on our heels, but we kind of figured they were going to push back. Our MO this year was just to stick with it and play the game no matter what the score is. That’s what we did tonight.

Warsofsky on the overtime goal
A little Finnish connection there. Kuokkanen has great hand-eye coordination. He gets a pass there by Priskie, gets a little bounce there and it goes in the back of the net.

Warsofsky on Morgan Geekie’s goal
He works on his skill set every single day after practice and before practice, so it doesn’t surprise me. He gets us going there, then Priskie’s goal gets us going into the third period 2-2, so those were two big goals.

Warsofsky on moving forward in this home stand
We’ll have tomorrow off, come in Monday and reset. Every game is important from here on out, so we have to make sure we’re focused and ready for a really good Rochester team that’s super skilled and can score. They’re at the top of their division, so it’s a good challenge for us and we’ll see how we match up.

Kuokkanen on his overtime goal
I just got a puck from Priskie and it was a bouncing puck, so I just took a shot and it went in. It was pretty lucky, but I’m happy.

Kuokkanen on Hartford last night compared to tonight
They were a totally different team tonight. We just kept our momentum and kept playing like we played last night, and luckily we won.

Kuokkanen on the game
It was like playoff hockey. It was a really tough game. We gave everything and took everything too, so I’m really happy we won this time.

NOTES

The Checkers are now 4-2-0 against the division-leading Wolf Pack this season, with the home team winning each time … This was the first time Hartford has ever earned a standings point against Charlotte. They are now 0-12-1 … Geekie extended his point streak to 13 games (10g, 7a), setting a new franchise record. It ties the third-longest point streak set by an AHL player this season. He also has goals in five straight games ... Kuokkanen has points in three straight games (2g, 2a). This was his second game-winning goal of the season, making it the only time in his three AHL campaigns that he has scored more than one … Priskie’s goal was his first since Dec. 22, ending a 16-game drought … After recording no points in his first 15 games as a Checker, Terry Broadhurst has four in his last four (all assists). He had two assists and a game-high +3 rating tonight … This was the first time in 12 games that the Checkers did not score a power-play goal when given an opportunity. They were 0-for-5 tonight … Forwards Brian Gibbons, Colin Markison and Stelio Mattheos missed the game due to injury … Forward Jacob Pritchard and defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald were healthy extras.
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.