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Checkers score five unanswered goals, tie Eastern Conference Finals series with Toronto

CHARLOTTE, NC – On the verge of falling into a two-game hole in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Checkers scored five unanswered goals to stage a stunning rally and capture Game 2 by a 5-3 score.

The Marlies controlled things early on, pumping in a pair of tallies in the opening frame and another early on in the second to jump out to a sizeable 3-0 lead. The Checkers tried to reset things from there by making a switch at goalie, with veteran Dustin Tokarski taking over between the pipes.

Charlotte got the spark it was looking for late in the second when Tomas Jurco redirected a shot in to put the home side on the board heading into the second intermission. The Checkers continued to buzz into the third period, breaking through with a pair of strikes just 69 seconds apart – first with Nicolas Roy finding the back of the net and then Jesper Sellgren threading in his first North American tally to deadlock the score at three.

The ice tilted in the Checkers’ favor from that point, with the home team outshooting Toronto 11-3 in the third while mounting near continuous pressure. With just under two minutes to play, the Checkers’ top line broke through as Andrew Poturalski threw a puck through traffic and beat Kasimir Kaskisuo to give Charlotte its first lead of the night. The Checkers never relented from there, keeping the Marlies at bay and tacking on an empty-netter to seal the thrilling comeback victory and even the series at one.

Charlotte Checkers 5, Toronto Marlies 3
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Bojangles’ Coliseum

Toronto 2 1 0 – 3
Charlotte 0 1 4 – 5

1st Period-1, Toronto, Bracco 3 (Sandin, Lindgren), 1:33. 2, Toronto, Greening 1 (Jooris, Borgman), 15:43. Penalties-Poturalski Cha (goaltender interference), 3:28; Timashov Tor (double minor – spearing (attempt)), 8:00.

2nd Period-3, Toronto, Brooks 6 (T. Moore, Marchment), 4:52. 4, Charlotte, Jurco 5 (Roy, Renouf), 15:34. Penalties-No Penalties

3rd Period-5, Charlotte, Roy 1 (Jurco), 7:21. 6, Charlotte, Sellgren 1 (Lorentz), 8:30. 7, Charlotte, Poturalski 6 (Geekie, Carrick), 18:19. 8, Charlotte, Brown 1 (Jurco, Fleury), 19:17 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Toronto 10-8-3-21. Charlotte 6-8-11-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Toronto 0 / 1; Charlotte 0 / 2.
Goalies-Toronto, Kaskisuo 8-1 (24 shots-20 saves). Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 6-2 (12 shots-9 saves); Tokarski 2-0 (9 shots-9 saves).
A-7,119
Referees-Mitch Dunning (43), Peter MacDougall (45).
Linesmen-Tyson Baker (88), James Tobias (61).

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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