Monday, November 10, 2014

Charlotte Checkers rebound in big way from bad loss with 3-1 win over Texas Stars on Monday

Checkers goalie Drew MacIntyre called his team together following Monday night’s 3-1 win over the Texas Stars at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Checkers had entered the night looking to rebound from their worst defeat of the season this past Saturday, in which the defending Calder Cup champion Stars chased MacIntyre 10 minutes into the first period on their way to an 8-2 win.

“MacIntyre stopped us and kind of just let us know that we’ve got to bring that effort both games,” said Checkers forward Brendan Woods, who netted his first goal of the season in the win.

“It was an embarrassing night,” MacIntyre said of Saturday, where he allowed four first-period goals on nine shots. “I was ashamed, individually, and team-wise, it was one of the worst I’ve seen in my career. It was an absolute schooling, but it’s huge that we can respond like this.”

MacIntyre finished Monday night with 28 saves on 29 shots.

The Checkers were able to respond despite getting hit from every angle from a personal standpoint on Monday, with a player recalled to the NHL (Michal Jordan), an injury (Patrick Brown), and a suspension (Carter Sandlak).

As a result, Charlotte filled the hole by signing 24-year-old left wing Kyle Jean – who came to the team from the Greenville Road Warriors, where put up 10 points (6g, 4a) in nine games – to a professional tryout contract.

The Checkers (4-7-0) got some help getting on the board early, when two Stars defenders collided during a power play, springing Danny Biega for a breakaway.

Texas goalie Jack Campbell (29 saves) stopped Biega’s initial shot, but Woods was there for the put-back goal. 

"Biega came out of nowhere and I just followed up the play and the puck was sitting right there," said Woods (1-4-5) who moved into a tie with Phil Di Giuseppe for second on the team in points. "They did all the hard work; I just did the easy part." 

The two teams traded goals in the second period, but it was easily Charlotte’s best of the night.

The lone hiccup came at the thee minute, 44 second mark, when Charlotte failed to control a puck in its own zone and it led to Travis Morin's sixth goal of the season. 

Greg Nemisz helped the Checkers respond five minutes later, netting his team-leading fifth of the season, with a wraparound attempt that trickled under Campbell’s pads.

Brett Sutter added an empty-netter late to seal the win for the Checkers.

“I think we learned a big lesson this weekend,” said MacIntyre. “We pretty much play teams back-to-back all season and it’s tough. I’ve been on teams that have done it before and if you beat a team, it’s really hard to beat them again. So, we have to be better, more consistent. Hopefully we learned that lesson this weekend.”

The Checkers will now travel to San Antonio to play two games with the Rampage beginning on Friday.