CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chicago’s hopes for gaining ground in the Central Division standings were dashed in a 3-1 setback to Charlotte Thursday evening at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The Checkers maintain a six-point lead over the Wolves for fifth place in the Central.
Zach O’Brien scored the lone goal for the Wolves, while Jordan Schmaltz and Ty Rattie picked up assists. Wolves goaltender Jordan Binnington (12-13-5) kept the game close, finishing with 38 saves as the Wolves held the AHL’s second-best power play team scoreless in five attempts. Center Blair Jones scored twice for the Checkers, who finished with a 41-16 shot advantage.
After a scoreless first period, Charlotte (29-24-3-3) broke through at the 11:52 mark of the second period. Falling to the ice, Jones managed to sweep his own rebound through traffic, past Binnington. Chicago (25-27-5-3) answered at 16:45 as a redirected shot from Schmaltz settled on the stick of O’Brien, who scored from close range. Charlotte reclaimed a 2-1 lead just before the period ended when Kyle Hagel stationed himself in the slot and one-timed a pass from Trevor Carrick.
Charlotte added an insurance goal at 7:05 of the third period on Jones’ second goal of the night, a slapshot from the top of the right faceoff circle.
Checkers goaltender John Muse (11-4-3) stopped 15 shots to earn the win.
The Wolves return to the Allstate Arena on Saturday (March 12) to host the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m. on Gift of Hope and Adopt-A-Dog Night. The first 5,000 fans through the doors will receive a Wolves Fleece Blanket Giveaway, presented by Kia. To order tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
CHECKERS 3, WOLVES 1
Chicago 0 1 0 – 1
Charlotte 0 2 1 – 3
First Period—none. Penalties—Doty, Chicago (fighting), 4:12; Hagel, Charlotte (fighting), 4:12; Rattie, Chicago (tripping), 10:57; Labrie, Chicago (fighting), 15:01; McGinn, Charlotte (roughing, fighting), 15:01; Veilleux, Chicago (fighting, game misconduct), 15:01; Ganly, Charlotte (fighting, game misconduct), 15:01; Phillips, Chicago (high-sticking, high-sticking), 18:16.
Second Period—1, Charlotte, Jones 10 (Robertson, Camara), 11:52; 2, Chicago, O’Brien 8 (Schmaltz, Rattie), 16:45; 3, Charlotte, Hagel 3 (Carrick, Wohlberg), 18:20.
Penalties—Cornell, Charlotte (tripping), 12:18; Jones, Charlotte (tripping), 14:42.
Third Period—4, Charlotte, Jones 11 (Brown, Fox), 7:05. Penalties—Labrie, Chicago (hooking), 9:13; Benoit, Chicago (interference), 15:06; Werek, Charlotte (goaltending interference), 17:40; Clark, Chicago (fighting), 20:00; Cornell, Charlotte (fighting), 20:00; Welsh, Chicago (fighting), 20:00; Lowe, Charlotte (fighting), 20:00.
Shots on goal—Chicago 5-5-6—16; Charlotte 15-15-11—41. Power plays—Chicago 0-4; Charlotte 0-5. Goalies—Chicago, Binnington (38-41); Charlotte, Muse (15-16). Referees—Mark Lemelin and Jake Brenk . Linesmen—Bob Goodman and Ben Shiley.