CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Goaltender Tom McCollum posted 30 saves while Kris Newbury and Sergey Tolchinsky scored in the shootout as the Charlotte Checkers topped the Chicago Wolves 3-2 Saturday night at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
The loss extended the Wolves’ winless streak to five games (0-1-2-2), but the club has picked up at least one point in 15 of their last 16 contests.
Center Wade Megan, the league’s leading goal-scorer, assured the Wolves (37-18-7-5) of at least one point when he scored his 28th goal of the year to force a 2-2 tie with 1:36 left in regulation.
Jordan Caron opened game scoring at 8:41 of the first frame to give Chicago the 1-0 lead. However, Charlotte (33-27-4-0) tied the game in the second period and then took the 2-1 lead at 2:01 of the third.
In the 3-on-3 extra session, the Wolves were unable to score, even with a 4-on-3 man advantage for two minutes. In the shootout, Tolchinsky and Newbury each scored for Charlotte while only Kenny Agostino could solve McCollum (7-0-0).
The Wolves opened scoring at 8:41 of the first frame when James Wisniewski wired a shot that McCollum corralled. However, Caron drove the net and helped shove the puck over the goal line to give Chicago the 1-0 lead.
At 12:11 of the second period, the Checkers were pressuring in the offensive zone when defenseman Jake Chelios passed the puck off the right boards to Trevor Carrick at the center point. Carrick zipped a pass down to Newbury who floated with the puck from the right faceoff dot to the slot and snapped a shot past Jordan Binnington (14-6-8) to knot the game at one.
Skating in his first game since March 9, Bryan Bickell netted the 2-1 go-ahead goal for the Checkers at 2:01 of the second period. Center Clark Bishop won an offensive-zone faceoff straight back to Bickell, who rocketed a chance from the top of the left circle that trickled past Binnington and into the net.
With under two minutes to play and Binnington on the bench with for an extra attacker, rookie defenseman Vince Dunn lasered a shot from the center point that Megan redirected from the slot to tie the game at two with just 1:36 to play in regulation.
Binnington made 16 saves through 65 minutes of action.
The Wolves and Checkers are back in action on Sunday (March 26) for the second of back-to-back games at Bojangles’ Coliseum. Puck drop is set for noon, and the game will be broadcast on CW50 in Chicago. For more information about upcoming Wolves home games or the 2017 Calder Cup Playoff race, visit ChicagoWolves.com.