Win Streak Ends Against Wilkes-Barre
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte’s hot streak on home ice came to a halt Friday night as they dropped a 5-4 contest to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The Checkers’ offense came in waves throughout the night. After falling into a 3-0 hole early on in the second, the home side rattled off a pair of strikes over an 84-second span, then added a Gustav Forsling blast minutes after that to erase the deficit and even the score.
The visitors responded just prior to the buzzer to re-establish their one-goal lead, then nabbed a quick power-play goal – their third of the night – only eight seconds into the third to extend their advantage.
The Checkers made a final push down the stretch, narrowing the lead to one thanks to a power-play tally from Dave Gust, but they couldn’t quite find the equalizer as Casey DeSmith skated away with 36 saves and the victory.
Penguins defenseman David Warsofsky, the brother of Checkers coach Ryan, recorded a season-high four points and was named first star.
Coach Ryan Warsofsky on the game
We just couldn’t get to our game soon enough. We gave up some pretty Grade-A chances, but I did like our third period. We pushed and had some good chances to tie it up. We even had chances when it was 3-3 to take the lead and Kuokkanen hits the post. We couldn’t get to our game.
Warsofsky on coming back from 3-0 down
I thought we got the big goal. Gauthier’s goal on the power play helped us settle into the game a little bit. It was a matter of time and we just needed to get one. You could feel on the bench that if we got one we were going to find our game. It was just a little too late.
Warsofsky on special teams play
We’ve got to be disciplined, and when we’re shorthanded we’ve got to be better on the PK, and on the five-on-three we’ve got to score on that. Specialty teams needs to be better. I know we had a couple of goals on it, but it still needs to be better.
Warsofsky on tomorrow’s rematch
We’re going to turn the page. Try to finish this home stand and this first half on a high note and get the job done tomorrow.
Warsofsky on an injury to forward Colin Markison
He’s going to be out long term. We’ll have to grab someone, probably not for tomorrow but for the road trip after the break.
Roland McKeown on the game
We just started slow. We kind of chased it, and when you get a couple of goals in your own net, you’re coming from behind against a team that knows how to defend. It thought that was the story of the game.
McKeown on early offensive chances
A big part of the game is burying those opportunities. You’ve got to bear down when you’re around the net, and that’s every one of us, myself included. We had some chances early on and we don’t put it in, and then it becomes a different hockey game.
The Checkers’ five-game win streak came to an end. This was their first home loss since Dec. 21. They have still won 11 of their last 13 and 15 of their last 19 … The Checkers are now 2-1-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, with the road team winning each game … The Penguins extended their point streak to four games (3-0-1) … Before recording five points tonight, Penguins forward Cole Cassels had nine points in 32 games … Jake Bean extended his point streak to five games (2g, 6a) … Morgan Geekie extended his point streak to eight games (5g, 5a) … The Checkers scored a power-play goal for the eighth straight game. They are 12-for-30 (40 percent) during that time … Forwards Brian Gibbons, Stelio Mattheos and Kerby Rychel missed the game due to injury … Defensmen Cavan Fitzgerald and Derek Sheppard were healthy extras.