Though the Checkers record against the Iowa Wild this season is 4-0-1, the victories haven’t come easily. Two shoot out wins, and two regulation wins, the most recent of which was a six goal rally in the third after starting the period with a 3-1 deficit, were the precursors to tonight’s 4-3 overtime loss by the Charlotte Checkers at home.
Charlotte’s Coach Mark Morris was disappointed at the team’s effort level.
“I thought we were flat from the get go. I didn’t like our game at all. I thought our energy was low,” Morris said, “We had a lot of passengers.”
The home team got into penalty trouble early, with the first of six visits to the sin bin just three minutes into the game. Midway through the first period, the Checkers former captain, Michal Jordan, scored a shorthanded goal while teammate Brock McGinn sat in the box for a slashing penalty.
Rasmus Rissanen, who has missed nearly half of the season due to injury and is only three games back onto the roster, scored the second goal of the game from the point. It was his first goal of the season.
Four goals were scored in the third period, but only one of them was by the good guys, an even strength goal by Brock McGinn. Iowas’s Cristoph Bertschy scored first for the Wild, and Jordan Schroder scored two for his team, including the game tying goal that led to overtime.
Checkers Captain Derek Ryan, who had two assists in the game and shared the ice with two former Checkers captains, Michal Jordan and Brett Sutter of the Wild, spoke candidly about the Checkers record against Iowa this season, and the differences between Charlotte’s victories against them and tonight’s loss.
“The biggest difference between previous games and this one is that we’ve never quit. They’ve gotten some leads on us, and we’ve found ways to win, which good teams do,” Ryan continues, “Tonight it was almost the opposite where we were giving up a lead and not playing our best hockey for most of the whole 60 minutes.”
Michal Jordan, who is the Checkers former captain and made his first appearance in a Checkers sweater since February 19 of last season, said this year’s squad is one of the best Checkers team he’s been a part of.
“They have lots of good young players and great veteran guys…. It’s a great group and they should be real successful this year.”
Coach Morris said a lack of effort from Charlotte led to the Iowa victory.
“They deserved the win because they worked harder than we did.”
The Checkers face the Iowa Wild again on Thursday night at Bojangles Coliseum. Hopefully, the home team will have a better showing.
And now for a poll:
Brock McGinn, who is tied for the goal scoring lead with 10 this year, needs a hashtag, one as awesome as #Terryiffic, #Shuggernaut and #MACnificent. Here are the nominations. What’s your pick?