It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. After two straight losses to the Milwaukee Admirals, I’m beginning to think that only the latter is true.
The Checkers lost by a score of 2-4 in Charlotte. The Admirals made it into eighth place, and with Peoria’s defeat of the Texas Stars, they will moved up to sixth, dropping Charlotte to seventh.
The Admirals came out fighting, continuing the physical style of play that helped them shut out the Checkers on Tuesday night.
I had high hopes for the game in the first period, when only two minutes in, tough guys Zack Stortini and Mathieu Roy dropped the gloves, but the Checkers seemed flat from the beginning. They were unable to stop the drive that Milwaukee had. Just as they did Tuesday night, the Ads were driving to the net, pushing the home team out of way, and being an aggressive, physical presence in front of Checkers netminder Justin Peters.
Speaking of goalies, for the second time in two nights, the Admirals knocked the mask off of the Checkers goalie, leaving Peters lidless for a few moments in the second, just as Mike Murphy was during the game on Tuesday. If that’s not an example of the physical, combative play of the Admirals, I don’t know what is.
The highlight of the game was Drayson Bowman’s goal, the Checkers second of the night. Bowman returned to the Charlotte lineup after an extended stay in Raleigh with the Hurricanes, and it was great to have him back in the lineup.
The final two and a half minutes of the game were played without a Checkers goalie, and at times, featured six forwards on the ice for Charlotte, something I’d never seen before. The good news is Chris Terry made a good fill-in goaltender when the rest of his forward-teammates were scrambling for the puck in the defensive end.
All in all, it’s been a tough couple of games to watch this week. Hopefully, the Checkers don’t have a case of Bobcatitis (they are 7-45, afterall) and can get back to their winning ways before it’s too late.
Six games in the next nine days. Charlotte has a 14-7-0-1 record against their next four opponents (Abbotsford, Peoria, Rockford, and Milwaukee), so on paper, the Checkers should have a fighting chance of maintaining their spot in the standings to make it into the post season.
It all comes down to this last stretch, and the game on April 15 against the same Admirals the Checkers faced tonight might be the game that determines the postseason for both clubs.
Let’s Go Checkers