The Checkers were downed by the Stars by a score of 7-1 tonight. The Stars, who lead the Checkers own West division, outplayed, outskated, and outshot the home team.
Texas, who has the league’s best powerplay, and in six PP opportunities, scored three times against Charlotte’s 22nd worst penalty kill.
The Checkers, who had four unsuccessful opportunities on the powerplay, came away from the game with one loan goal by Checkers scoring leader Aaron Palushaj.
Travis Morin scored once for the Stars, and also had four assists. He leads his team in scoring (24g, 31a), especially against the Checkers, where he has 10 points (4g, 6a) in three games on Checkers home ice.
Texas’ Curtis McKenzie also had four assists on the night, and in three games against the Checkers, now has six points.
The most notable Checkers on the scoresheet were the five players who had minor penalties, including Matt Corrente, who received a double minor for boarding late in the first. If you want a complete look at the score sheet, check it out here, but as you can imagine, it’s not pretty.
Despite the game’s final score, the team appears focused and prepared for tomorrow’s rematch against the Stars.
Coach Jeff Daniels didn’t seem concerned about the short turnaround, and knows his team has what it takes to get a better result.
“You can’t dwell on it. It’s over. Whether it was 7-1 or 2-1, we lost the game tonight, and we play again at 12:00 and have to respond better. A lot of the guys in that locker room have to be better as individuals.” Daniels continued, “We’ve got to be better, stronger on the puck.”
Despite a brutal result, Palushaj , who scored the only goal for Charlotte, knows what it will take for a different result tomorrow. “We’re all athletes. We want to show that we have a lot better than that. I wish we could play again right now. We have to come out and play a lot stronger, and we know that.
Brett Sutter, the Checkers Captain, believes tomorrow will be a different game.
“Guys are frustrated now. But we’ve got to put it behind us. We know things we can do better, we know what we did wrong. We’ll make sure we come mad tomorrow. Make sure we’re ready to go. It’s the same team right away, so we’ve got to come a little pissed off tomorrow.”
- According to TSN’s, the Hurricanes have placed a number of Checkers alumni on the trading block.
TSN report: Rutherford email to NHL execs offers Ruutu, Tlusty, Nash, Bowman and … Bellemore? Nothing new with first four. Fifth odd.—
Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) January 17, 2014
Drayson Bowman, Riley Nash and Brett Bellemore were of course regulars on the Checkers squad for three seasons. Tlusty played five games during the 2010-11 season.
- The Checkers had a sell out tonight of 8,102, with more huge crowds expected all weekend and next week.
- I don’t think I’ve expressed my disappointment here, but the AHL announced their “All Star” team for the event next month in St. John’s. No Checkers were named to the team, but at least three teams have multiple players representing it. I’m glad I didn’t purchase the plane ticket to Newfoundland as I had planned to earlier in the season!