Iowa scored twice in the final six minutes of regulation to defeat the Checkers 4-3 Monday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Carter Sandlak’s goal gave the Checkers a 3-2 lead with six minutes, four seconds to play. put the home team on top with just over six minutes remaining. Sandlak collected a loose puck in traffic and put it past Iowa goalie John Curry.
The lead didn’t last long – 46 seconds later the Wild’s Jonathan Blum scored. Jason Gregoire scored the winner less than three minutes later, shooting high on goalie Drew MacIntyre.
“We made a couple of bad mental plays that you can’t make at the end of the game or any point,” Checkers coach Jeff Daniels said. “Hopefully young mistakes and we’ve got to learn from them.”
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Despite controlling much of the game and have numerous chances, the Checkers came undone down the stretch.
“We’ve got to play hard,” said defenseman Ryan Murphy, who tied his career high with three assists. “We can’t play on our heels, and I think that’s what happened. We were playing right in their hands. I think we should have stayed on the gas and kept playing the hockey that got us the lead in the first place.”
The Checkers had a chance in the final minute to tie the game. Iowa took a delay of game penalty, and the Checkers pulled goalie Drew MacIntyre for a 6-on-4 advantage but couldn’t get the equalizer.
First period—1, Charlotte, Shugg 8 (Murphy), 0:59. 2, Iowa, Dumba 2 (Bulmer, Graovac), 16:39. Penalties—Bulmer, Iowa (fighting), 0:05; Carrick, Charlotte (fighting), 0:05; Hagel, Iowa (delay of game), 3:23; Schmitz, Charlotte (hooking), 11:18.
Second period—3, Iowa, Graovac 8 (Mitchell), 1:09. 4, Charlotte, LaRose 3 (Murphy, Di Giuseppe), 14:50. Penalties—Baldwin, Iowa (fighting), 3:11; Hagel, Cha (fighting), 3:11; Graovac, Iowa (tripping), 12:45.
Third period—5, Charlotte, Sandlak 2 (Hagel, Murphy), 13:56. 6, Iowa, Blum 3 (Graovac, Hagel), 14:42. 7, Iowa, Gregoire 2 (Dumba), 17:14. Penalties—Staal, Cha (interference), 0:19; Gogol, Iowa (fighting), 4:05; Sandlak, Cha (fighting), 4:05; Woods, Cha (roughing), 8:56; Gelinas, Iowa (roughing), 10:53; Lowe, Cha (cross-checking), 10:53; Veilleux, Iowa (delay of game), 18:50.
Shots on goal—Iowa 8-7-12—27; Charlotte 9-4-10—23.
Power-play opportunities—Iowa 0-4; Charlotte 0-4.
Goalies—Iowa, Curry 2-5-0 (23 shots-20 saves); Charlotte, MacIntyre 7-9-0 (27-23).