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Charlotte defeats Chicago in Game 2, evens AHL's Calder Cup Finals

Hurricanes' affiliate ties best-of-7 series; Vegas prospect Glass has two assists

by Patrick Williams / Correspondent

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tomas Jurco broke a tie late in the second period, and the Charlotte Checkers fended off another Chicago Wolves comeback in a 5-3 win in Game 2 of the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Finals on Sunday.

The win tied the best-of-7 series. Game 3 is at Chicago on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN). The Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, will host the next three games.

Jurco's goal came on a right-circle shot that slipped past Wolves goalie Oskar Dansk at 18:53 of the second. He has 15 points in 15 playoff games. 

Charlotte, the AHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes, had a 38-0-0-0 regular-season record when leading after two periods and is 9-0 in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Nick Schilkey, Nicolas Roy, Stelio Mattheos and Andrew Poturalski also scored for Charlotte. With games on back-to-back nights, the Checkers turned to veteran goalie Dustin Tokarski in place of Alex Nedeljkovic, their Game 1 starter, and he made 20 saves. 

Gage Quinney scored twice for Chicago, and Cody Glass, the No. 6 pick by Vegas at the 2017 NHL Draft, had two assists. Dansk made 26 saves.

"I thought the two teams battled extremely hard," Charlotte coach Mike Vellucci said. "It was hot in the building and back-to-back games, so it was a little tougher after overtime [Saturday] night to get going.

"But once we get going in the second period and got some big goals, [we] gave up a lead again but we stayed with it."

Schilkey's shorthanded breakaway goal gave Charlotte a 1-0 lead 3:50 into the game. The Checkers have scored shorthanded five times in their past five games. But the Wolves tied it on Keegan Kolesar's sixth playoff goal less than a minute later at 4:43.

Three second-period goals in 1:26 opened up the game. Roy (5:34) and Mattheos (5:48) scored 14 seconds apart to build a 3-1 lead.

But Quinney won a battle in front of the net and scored off a pass from Jake Bischoff at 7:00, then rushed past Checkers defenseman Roland McKeown and backhanded a shot past Tokarski to tie it 3-3 at 11:13. 

Quinney scored 19 goals in the regular season, but he entered with one goal in 14 playoff games.

Poturalski scored an empty-net goal with one minute remaining for the 5-3 final. 

Wolves coach Rocky Thompson is happy to have his team going home. The Wolves have played five of the past six games on the road between Charlotte and the Western Conference Final against the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks).

"We'll have a rest here," Thompson said. "We'll take this, we'll look at it, and we'll be ready to go [in Game 3]. We're excited about getting home. We're excited about being in front of our crowd.

"It was great atmosphere here, just like it is back home, so it'll be fun."

Photo courtesy of Jacob Kupferman/AHL

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