The Checkers’ first game following the All-Star break did not go as hoped.
San Antonio scored three times in an action-packed first period and never looked back en route to a 5-2 victory over visiting Charlotte on Friday. Alex Aleardi and Chad LaRose scored for the Checkers, who conclude a brief two-game road trip Saturday night in Texas. Drew MacIntyre made 28 saves in the losing effort.
With the loss, the Checkers’ all-time record in games immediately following the All-Star break fell to 3-2-0, with both losses coming the last two seasons. They have lost four of five games against the division rival Rampage this season.
Against a team that entered the game at a disadvantage in terms of rest but had an advantage in terms of being able to shake off rust, Charlotte gave up a breakaway goal to John McFarland just 4 minutes, 32 seconds into the first period to start things off. Even after Aleardi converted a generous rebound given up by Rampage goaltender Michael Houser less than two minutes later, San Antonio made it 3-1 after eight minutes off a two-on-one rush finished by Jesse Blacker.
LaRose gave his team hope by scoring just 1:01 into the second period and extending his point streak to six games (4g, 3a) – the longest by a Checkers skater this season.
Butler scored an insurance goal by splitting the Checkers’ defense and chipping the puck over MacIntyre’s shoulder with just under seven minutes to play. He narrowly missed a hat trick when a subsequent effort rang off the post to MacIntyre’s left.
|San Antonio||3||0||2 —||5|
1st Period-1, San Antonio, McFarland 3 (O'Brien), 4:32. 2, Charlotte, Aleardi 5 (Brown, Biega), 6:27. 3, San Antonio, Blacker 5 (Grimaldi), 7:55. 4, San Antonio, Butler 18 (Trocheck, Zanon), 17:34. Penalties-Trocheck Sa (tripping), 1:17; Robertson Cha (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:09; O'Brien Sa (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:09; Hagel Cha (instigating, fighting, misconduct), 10:46; Turgeon Sa (fighting), 10:46; Butler Sa (holding), 13:12; Robertson Cha (cross-checking), 18:49.
2nd Period-5, Charlotte, LaRose 12 (Robertson, Jordan), 1:01. Penalties-Turgeon Sa (holding), 9:33; Di Giuseppe Cha (kneeing), 12:54; Rissanen Cha (high-sticking), 14:12; LaRose Cha (tripping), 16:11; served by Turgeon Sa (bench minor - too many men), 16:11.
3rd Period-6, San Antonio, Butler 19 (Grimaldi), 13:16. 7, San Antonio, Zanon 2 17:27 (SH EN). Penalties-O'Brien Sa (slashing), 5:16; Brickley Sa (interference), 9:20; Lowe Cha (roughing), 16:22; Brickley Sa (major - boarding, game misconduct), 16:22; Mancari Sa (roughing), 16:22.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-8-13-32. San Antonio 16-11-6-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 / 6; San Antonio 0 / 4.
Goalies-Charlotte, MacIntyre 13-13-1 (32 shots-28 saves). San Antonio, Houser 6-6-0 (32 shots-30 saves).
A-7,605. Referees-Darcy Burchell (42). Linesmen-Fred Hudy (30), Carl Sasyn (12).