The Charlotte Checkers extended their season-long home point streak to six games with a win over the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.
Brendan Woods scored two goals – the first of which led to the Time Warner Cable Arena Ice being showered with Teddy Bears, as part of a team fundraiser – to lead the Checkers to a 2-1 win over the Wild in front of 6,985.
The one-goal victory came just four days after the Checkers squandered a 2-0 lead with just over two minutes to play in regulation against the Norfolk Admirals, before falling 3-2 in overtime.
“I can’t complain. I’m excited,” said Woods, who recorded his first career two-goal game. He’s found the back of the net five times this season after scoring five goals in 42 games last season.
“It’s good to get the win though after that loss against Norfolk,” Woods continued. “It was good to bounce back.”
The Checkers (8-11-2-0) have now won two of their three matchups against Iowa (5-15-1-1) – which sits in last place in the West Division – this season.
“We talked before the game about the disappointment of last game,” Checkers coach Jeff Daniels said. “Obviously the loss, but I thought we got out-worked and (Saturday) was about going out and competing.
“I thought in the last two games, we kind of watched (goalies John Muse) and (Drew MacIntyre) do all the work and it was time for the rest of the guys in the locker room to compete, and I thought they did that tonight.”
Woods’ second goal of the game came off a deflection and broke a 1-1 tie five minutes and 30 seconds in to the second period. From then on, MacIntyre (27 saves) and the Charlotte defenseman made sure the Checkers stayed on top.
“You’ve got to be reliable for your team, especially in one-goal leads,” MacIntyre said. “We’ve usually been behind by a goal going into the third, so we have to be good at protecting the lead. Our (defense) did awesome, guys were sacrificing themselves, it was fun to see.
“I thought it was a really, really sharp game,” MacIntyre continued. “I just though we were mentally focused and in it. Just doing those little things – it’s night and day – and makes all the difference.”
The Checkers will face the Wild again on Monday before heading out of town for a three-game road trip.
“We knew what happened to us against Norfolk there in the last two minutes when we lost that two goal lead, so it was just making sure that we were smart and everything was deep, everything was out, and nothing was pretty,” Woods said. “We just made sure to stick to that and do whatever it took. Guys were blocking shots, sticking up for each other in front of the net. And that’s stuff that we needed.”
NOTES: Former Checkers captain Brett Sutter (now with Iowa) received a nice ovation from the Time Warner Cable Arena crowd during a pause in play in the first period. Sutter was the longest-running captain in franchise history, but was not re-signed by the team this offseason. … Checkers coach Daniels said he expects rookie Patrick Brown (who has not played since suffering an injury on Nov. 8) to play on Monday.
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Di Giuseppe Cha (high-sticking), 0:04; Hagel Ia (roughing), 6:00; Carrick Cha (roughing), 6:00; Woods Cha (hooking), 12:26; Gudbranson Ia (boarding), 15:06.
2nd Period-1, Iowa, Veilleux 1 (Hagel, Falk), 0:21. 2, Charlotte, Woods 4 (Sandlak, Lowe), 2:52. 3, Charlotte, Woods 5 (Carrick, Hagel), 5:30. Penalties-Sandlak Cha (slashing), 9:21.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Gabriel Ia (fighting), 2:13; Robertson Cha (fighting), 2:13.
Shots on Goal-Iowa 8-11-9-28. Charlotte 10-11-7-28. Power Play Opportunities-Iowa 0/3; Charlotte 0/1. Goalies-Iowa, Harding 0-1-1 (21 shots-19 saves); Curry 1-5-0 (7 shots-7 saves). Charlotte, MacIntyre 7-8-0 (28 shots-27 saves). A-6,985. Referees-Peter Tarnaris (17). Linesmen-Ben Shiley (21), Terry Wicklum (58).