Charlotte Checkers 5, Ontario Reign 3
SOG: ONT 25, CHA 35
PP: ONT 1/1, CHA 1/7
ONT starters: G Jack Campbell, D Vincent LoVerde, D Alex Lintuniemi, LW Michael Mersch, C T.J. Hensick, RW Teddy Purcell
CHA starters: G Tom McCollum, D Roland McKeown, D Dennis Robertson, LW Levko Koper, C Andrej Nestrasil, RW Sergey Tolchinsky
1) CHA PPG – Andrew Poturalski (16) (Patrick Dwyer), 15:43
2) ONT – T.J. Hensick (14) (Michael Mersch, Alex Lintuniemi), 19:30
3) CHA – Brendan Woods (3) (Clark Bishop, Mitchell Heard), 5:08
4) CHA – Connor Brickley (9) (Patrick Dwyer, Andrew Poturalski), 9:09
5) ONT – Teddy Purcell (9) (Michael Mersch, Mike Amadio), 15:11
6) ONT PPG – T.J. Hensick (15) (Teddy Purcell, Vincent LoVerde), 4:52
7) CHA – Connor Brickley (10) (Patrick Dwyer), 12:57
8) CHA ENG – Lucas Wallmark (22) (Haydn Fleury), 19:29
–With the loss, the Reign are now 30-18-9-0 overall and 2-1-0-0 this season against Charlotte, which improved to 29-27-4-0. Ontario is now 6-1-0-0 this season against Central Division opponents and 11-9-7-0 on the road. Charlotte won its third straight game (they’ve scored four or more goal in those wins). The two teams play again on Saturday at 3 p.m. PT in their final regular season meeting.
–T.J. Hensick had two goals for his 11th multi-point game and this season. The goals also busted a seven-game goalless skid. He leads Ontario in points (15-32=47). He’s one point ahead of Jonny Brodzinski (24-22-46), who registered an assist.
–Goalie Jack Campbell made 30 saves on 24 shots and saw his record dip to 26-13-6.
–Ontario was called for three minor penalties and two double minors, both high-sticking calls against Brett Sutter, to Charlotte’s one minor.
–Ontario dropped to 3-12-3-0 when trailing going into the third.
–Michael Mersch finished with two assists (ORI Note: His primary assist on Hensick’s first goal should eventually be changed to Hensick from Vincent LoVerde and Mersch by the league). Mersch is on a three-game point streak with a goal and four assists in that span. It was his sixth multi-point game in 38 GP.
–Teddy Purcell had a goal and an assist and is on a four-game point streak with two goals, four assists in that span. It was his eighth multi-point contest in his 29th game with Ontario.
–The Reign were outshot, 35-25, and we led by Sean Backman’s four shots on goal.
–Mike Amadio finished with an assist and now has four assists in the last three games.
–Brett Sutter was called for two double minors in the first period for high-sticking, the first one resulting in a power play goal for Charlotte’s Andrew Poturalski, who was actually the victim of the high stick. The second one was called at the end of the first period, so Ontario opened the second period with a four-minute PK but came away unscathed, allowing just one SOG.
–Winger Justin Auger missed a good chunk of the second period after blocking a Trevor Carrick shot during the PK of Sutter’s penalty. He later returned to the ice.
–Michael Mersch hit the post late in the third period with a chance to tie.
–Here’s how the Reign aligned in rushes (per Joey Zakrzewski) with no changes since last game:
Michael Mersch – T.J. Hensick – Teddy Purcell
Brett Sutter – Mike Amadio – Jonny Brodzinski
Justin Auger – Patrick Bjorkstrand – Sean Backman
Joel Lowry – Andrew Crescenzi – Sam Herr
Alex Lintuniemi – Vincent LoVerde
Kurtis MacDermid – Zac Leslie
Cameron Schilling – Alexx Privitera
–Scratches for Ontario tonight: D Damir Sharipzianov, D Rob Scuderi, F Paul Bissonnette, F Devin Setoguchi, F Daniel Ciampini, D Craig Wyszomirski and D Zach Trotman.
–The Reign released D Connor Hardowa earlier today from his PTO. The 28-year-old, Edmonton, Alberta, native did not appear in a game with the Reign. He has 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 49 games with ECHL-Manchester this season.
–The Reign hold a 2-0-0-0 against the Checkers this season, 4-2-0-0 all-time. The Reign are 6-0-0-0 against Central Division opponents this season.
–Ontario enters today’s contest at third in the Pacific Division, a place they’ve held for quite some time. The Reign’s magic number to secure a playoff berth is 15 points. The Checkers, who will wear special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys, are fighting for a playoff spot at fifth in the Central (magic number is 39).
–It’s a familiar-feeling game for a lot of players. Former Reign center Kris Newbury is now with the Checkers and Reign forwards Brett Sutter and T.J. Hensick have each spent time in a Checkers uniform in their careers, Sutter from 2010-14 and Hensick just last season.
–Reign center Mike Amadio and defenseman Zac Leslie each have one goal and two assists for three points against Charlotte. Checkers forward Levko Koper leads the series with three goals.
–Here’s some pregame audio from Sutter, courtesy of Joey Zakrzewski:
— Joseph Zakrzewski (@JoeyZReign) March 17, 2017