The Charlotte Checkers advanced to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 4-1 win over the Providence Bruins at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Friday night.
The Checkers won the series, three games to one, and will now take on either Bridgeport or Hershey in the Atlantic Division Finals.
Alex Nedeljkovic (3-1) made 23 saves as Charlotte celebrated a series victory on home ice for the first time in their history.
Jacob Pritchard opened the scoring at 17:32 of the first period with his first professional goal, banking in a shot from a sharp angle below the right-wing circle.
Morgan Geekie made it 2-0 at 7:01 of the second, one-timing a pass from Steven Lorentz under the crossbar for his fourth goal of the series.
Just over four minutes later, Aleksi Saarela was stopped on a breakaway but Andrew Poturalski followed up and put home the rebound to make it 3-0.
Jeremy Lauzon got the Bruins on the board at 2:36 of the third period, with a rising shot from the point off a faceoff win by Jordan Szwarz. That goal ended Nedeljkovic’s shutout streak at 112:48.
Poturalski added an empty-net goal with 29.4 seconds remaining, capping his sixth consecutive multiple-point game. The Second Team AHL All-Star finished the series with five goals and nine points.
Making his professional debut in an elimination game, Kyle Keyser stopped 26 of 29 shots in net for Providence.
Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Charlotte 5, PROVIDENCE 4 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 21 – PROVIDENCE 4, Charlotte 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 24 – CHARLOTTE 3, Providence 0 | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 26 – CHARLOTTE 4, Providence 1