The Texas Stars took a lead three times Saturday night, and the last one was too much for Charlotte to overcome and the Checkers fell 4-3 in a shootout at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
In the shootout, Texas’ Jack Campbell turned aside all three attempts he saw, but Matej Stransky beat Daniel Altshuller low on the glove side to clinch the two points for the visitors and stop Charlotte’s franchise-record home winning streak at six games.
After battling through a scoreless first period, the squads traded goals for the rest of regulation. The Stars took their first lead on Curtis McKenzie’s goal early in the second, but Charlotte erased each advantage, capped by Sergey Tolchinsky’s second goal of the game during the third to force overtime.
“I thought we competed extremely hard,” Checkers coach Mark Morris said. “I was not disappointed with that at all. We would like to have a couple of those goals back obviously, but we didn’t give up, we battled through those two goals that they had, scratched our way into a situation where we came within a whisker of winning the game ourselves.”
Tolchinsky turned in one of the strongest efforts of his young career, lighting the lamp twice on impressive goals and creating a buzz in the offense every time he touched the puck.
“He’s playing and he’s having fun,” Morris said. “He’s got a lot more pop in his step and he’s playing with a lot more compete. Skill guys sometimes have a habit of trying to do too much, and I think he¹s learning to pull the string a little quicker now and it¹s paying off for him. I like the direction he’s going in.”
By salvaging a point, Charlotte will stay in a playoff spot regardless of what happens with the San Jose Barracuda, who played late Saturday at San Diego.