The Chicago Wolves edged the Charlotte Checkers, 3-2, to even up the best-of-five first round Calder Cup playoff series, as it now shifts to Chicago. Here are three things to note from Game 2.
1. A More Competitive Match
Right from the drop of the puck in Game 2, you could tell Chicago was more dialed in than they were in Game 1, a match the Checkers commanded for the full 60 minutes. Charlotte was locked in, as well, and the result was a back-and-forth tilt that went down to the wire.
"I thought it was a pretty even game out there," head coach Ulf Samuelsson said. "There were a lot of good battles out there. We had a couple great looks at the end to put the game away, but we weren't quick enough."
"They gave a push back," Phil Di Giuseppe said. "I thought it was a good back-and-forth game. I don't think they outplayed us. I thought we played pretty well. We controlled most of the game in the third, I thought, but they got a little rebound goal and we couldn't make up for it."
"They definitely brought more energy than the game before. It was definitely more of a battle out there," Dennis Robertson said. "We had control of the first game from the drop of the puck. This was a back-and-forth tilt, and this is what we expected the series to be. It was tough to drop that one, but we know what we're up against."
2. Checkers' Answers
Thrice Chicago took a lead, and the difference was that just twice the Checkers were able to answer. Andrew Miller scored his second goal in as many nights to even the score at one in the second period, and later, Robertson's howitzer of a slap shot tied the game at two.
"That was a heck of a pass from Danny (Kristo) there," Robertson said. "It was about head height before it landed perfectly flat for me to tee up. That was a pretty nice play."
The game-decider was scored by Adam Musil, a backhand shot on a rebound, with just 5:11 to play in regulation.
"It's playoffs," Samuelsson said. "Everyone is loving to play. If you're up or down a goal, you're going to play hard."
3. All Square Heading to Chicago
After a split in Charlotte, this best-of-five series now pivots to Chicago for at least Games 3 and 4 and, if necessary, Game 5.
"The next game is obviously going to be a huge game," Sameulsson said. "There are going to be some nerves in it, some excitement. Both teams are going to be all in for the next game."
So, what can the Checkers do to be successful in Game 3 and draw one win closer to the second round?
"We've got to bury our chances," Samuelsson said. "We had a lot of good chances, and their goalie was good. We didn't get momentum fighting from behind. I'm looking forward to going to Chicago."
"We've just got to get to the net and get some garbage goals," Di Giuseppe said. "I thought we had some chances, especially late, and we've just got to capitalize on those to have a better fate."