Chris Terry, after a three-game suspension, scored the loan goal for the Checkers tonight at 12:44 in the first period. In typical #Terryiffic fashion, he was in front of the net at the right place and right time. He deflected a pass from Brett Sutter, and put Charlotte on the board.
Drayson Bowman;s scoring streak came to an end after eight games. Tonight was the first time in a long time he didn’t score a goal.
Dan Ellis had an incredible night. He faced 43 shots on goal, stopping all but two of them. The team in front of him at times appeared incredibly flat, not showing nearly the energy they had during Sunday’s home opener. With Marc-Andre Gragnani back in the lineup, the defense pairings were different, and didn’t seem nearly as effective.
I’m anxious to see if Zack Kassian gets any kind of a suspension or fine for his penalty box temper tantrum that resulted in a bloodied off-ice official in the box with him. I have no idea if this could happen, but it should!
The Wolves scored twice in the second period. Both goals came from Steve Pinizzotto, who formerly tormented the Checkers as a member of the Hershey Bears during the inaugural Checkers AHL season. His first goal came after splitting the Checkers defense and getting Ellis out of position and as a result, finding the back of the empty net.
Pinzzotto’s second goal came as a near breakaway with Nicolas Blanchard trailing him all the way o the net, but even Blanchard’s ferocity wasn’t enough to stop the puck from getting past Ellis.
The save of the night came with 13:10 to go in the third period. There was a lot of traffic in front of Ellis, which was a theme of the night, and he ended up on his back, head away from the play and practically blind with his head under the net, and legs flailing like a dying roach when he swatted the puck away with his hand. OK, so comparing him to a dying roach isn’t the best description, but honestly, it was awesome and hands down the save of the game.
The Checkers had two disallowed goals on the night. The first was the result of goaltender interference with a Chicago player way to deep into the crease when he made the play. The second disallowed goal was the result of a hand pass from Darren Haydar with three minutes to go in the third.
The biggest difference between Sunday and tonight’s game was the effectiveness of the Checkers forecheck. On Sunday, the Wolves couldn’t even make it to their end of the ice the Checkers were so strong, and tonight, the Wolves were able to skate wherever they wanted.
After the game, Dan Ellis commented that he felt good about the game. In reference to the 43 shots on goal he faced, he said that he came out with somethi.ng to prove, and proved it. He didn’t seem fazed by the SOG, and actually said it pushes his cardio and pushes his body and enabled him to stay in it with so much action. Ellis appears to be a true leader in the room with a group of much younger and inexperienced teammates. He said, “The season is a long journey. You’re not going to get everything right at the start of the season.”
Not having Wilson again was a disappointment from a fan’s perspective. There was so much dead air between plays. Elle did a nice job reading the script for the spots sponsors pay for, but she didn’t rally the crowd. The most the crowd got going was when he was shown on the video board. (Which made me wonder, does he get royalties from those appearances?) It’s going to be great to have him back on Thursday night.
Photos to follow (maybe) tomorrow. I think I figured out how to use my camera… don’t use the fancy white balance settings like I used to, and instead let the fancy camera figure it out, and I end up with perfect shots!