A day after the Charlotte Checkers let a two-goal lead slip away, falling 4-3 to the Chicago Wolves in overtime of Game 1 and finding themselves in a 1-0 series hole in the Calder Cup Finals, the Checkers are able to put that behind them and even the series in Game 2 in Charlotte this evening.
It’s a familiar position for the Checkers, who were in the same position against the Toronto Marlies in the previous round. That time, they won Game 2 and eventually took the series in six games. They’ll be looking for the same this time and, as coach Mike Vellucci and every player said last night, they weren’t far off. A few minor issues to correct and they should be in good shape, heading to Chicago tied at 1.
Of course, that presupposes that the Wolves are simply going to allow the Checkers to do that. Offensively, the Wolves carried the majority of play in Game 1, especially in the second period when the Checkers looked like they were completely off their game. They found it again in the third, but couldn’t dent Oscar Dansk, who frustrated the Checkers from down low over and over again. Two of the three goals the Checkers scored in Game 1 came off shots from the blue line, both of which changed direction, and they’ll need to show a bit more variety tonight to force Dansk to work a little harder.
Game 2 will be live on NHL Network - we promise - so hang out in the comments with us while you watch. Enjoy the game!