Tallies late in the first and early in the second put the Checkers in a hole to start, but a back-and-forth battle in the final minutes of the frame made things interesting. Andrew Miller put the home squad on the board with a sprawling collection of a rebound, then Connor Brickley tapped home a two-on-one feed at the backdoor shortly after. Pontus Aberg netted his second of the night in the middle of the two Charlotte strikes, but the Checkers headed into the final 20 minutes down by one and riding a wave of momentum.
That wouldn’t carry over into the third, however. An early penalty ended with the puck in the Charlotte net 90 seconds in, followed quickly by the Admirals’ third goal on the mand advantage. That effectively put the Checkers out of it, as their rally attempts fell flat and their winning streak came to an end.
Samuelsson on the lack of offense: “We didn’t spend too much time in their zone, we weren’t good managing the puck and we didn’t forecheck well at all. It’s hard to create scoring chances when you’re not getting any secondary chances.”
Checkers captain Patrick Brown on the lack of offense: “We lost a lot our battles in our own zone and were chasing them around our own zone. It’s tough to create scoring chances that way. We got a lot of shots but the ones we got didn’t have traffic. It’s hard to score that way.”
Samuelsson on the Checkers’ special teams struggles: “They beat us in the slot there a little bit and we’ll have to make some adjustments because we were not quick enough to cover in certain areas. On the flip side, on our last power play we moved it around well but before that we weren’t winning faceoffs and we struggled with our setup in their zone. We have some adjustments to make there as well.”
Brown on the amount of penalties called: “It’s part of the game. You’ve got to adjust. Sometimes the refs call everything and sometimes they call nothing. We got beat on the penalty kill tonight and we got beat on the power play. It’s tough to win like that.”
Samuelsson on what the Admirals bring to the table: “It’s a good team. It’s a really good makeup and they’ve got four lines that are almost even. They’re a very deep team, their D move the puck well and they get solid goaltending.”
Brown on tomorrow’s rematch: “Just regroup. Whatever it was, guys will tell you different reasons, but just regroup and give it everything we’ve got tomorrow. That wasn’t the team they’re going to see.”