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Checkers Recap: Charlotte drops 2-1 in shootout against Providence Bruins

Jeremy Smith comes up big but Checkers fall in the shootout.

Natalie Stenger | Charlotte Checkers

Both the Charlotte Checkers and Carolina Hurricanes took games to a shootout in their afternoon matinees, but unfortunately the Checkers did not enjoy the same success as their NHL club, dropping a 2-1 decision against the Providence Bruins. Jeremy Smith stopped 39 shots for the Checkers, earning first star recognition.

The first period began with a similar feel to Saturday’s match-up with neither team generating much offense. The first significant chance came as a Providence forward hit the post, it careened off the post but Jeremy Smith was able to recover and fall onto it. Nicolas Roy started the scoring for the Checkers after he fired a wrist shot in close past Bruins goalies Jordan Binnington. The fans began to then fire teddy bears onto the ice in honor of the Checkers annual Teddy Bear Toss for local Charlotte hospitals.

Later in the period, Julien Gauthier was sent to the box and Colton Hargrove scored on the ensuing power play to tie the game for Providence. Smith was sharp in the first period, turning aside 15 shots.

Charlotte had multiple even-strength and power play opportunities in the second period but could not convert. The Checkers best chance came on the power play with eight minutes remaining on the period but Binnington slid across the to deny the goal. With one minute to go, the Bruins hit the post on a shot that Smith didn’t see after a screen in front. Providence held a 24-13 shot advantage over the Checkers after two periods.

Providence began the third period on the man advantage after Phillip Samuelsson was whistled for holding. Charlotte would kill off the penalty and generate a 2-on-1 breakaway in the process but Warren Foegele hit the post. Charlotte struggled early in the third period and was not able to get a shot on net until about eight minutes in. Providence generated many chances in the third but Smith stood tall. Smith shut the door again on a Providence attack on a scramble in front of the net with 1:37 to play. No one was able to find the game-winner in regulation so the teams headed to overtime.

The Bruins quickly generated a one-timer opportunity but whiffed on the shot and Smith was able to recover after leaving a wide open net. Neither team was able to capitalize in the overtime period. Ryan Fitzgerald scored in the extra rounds of the shootout to secure the victory for Providence.

In an unusual turn of events, Alex Nedeljkovic was announced as a late scratch due to illness, and taking his place as emergency backup goaltender, Checkers play-by-play announcer Jason Shaya. His highlights included making it on the jumbotron twice and getting shout outs on social media. He even got his own Elite Prospects page!

The Checkers turn their attention to the Springfield Thunderbirds who come to Charlotte for a series next weekend.