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Generals lose 'home' game
Checkers 4, Generals 1
By Keith Tolbert
Special to the News & Record
WINSTON-SALEM - Maybe the Greensboro Generals should play more road games. They certainly aren't playing well at home.
The latest collapse was a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Charlotte Checkers before a crowd of 2,555 at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum Annex, who watched the first professional hockey game in Winston-Salem since 1999.
The Checkers scored two first-period goals to defeat the Generals for the 11th straight time. It was also the Generals second loss in a row after dropping a road game on Friday night to Columbus.
"There were a lot of positives in that loss (Friday)," Generals coach Graeme Townshend said. "There aren't too many positives that we can take away from this game."
Townshend said the loss was frustrating because the team is not playing under control.
"We took some foolish penalties," Townshend said. "I wanted a tough team, but I didn't want us to play foolishly."
The victory was the first on the road for the Checkers and only their third victory of the ECHL season. Charlotte came out aggressive and took control early with an 18-8 advantage in shots on goal in the first period.
"We felt we needed to come out strong," Charlotte coach Don MacAdam said. "We feel we are a better hockey team than we've been playing."
After several early opportunities for the Checkers, their aggressiveness paid off when Benoit Dusablon took the puck deep into the right side of the Greensboro zone on a 2-on-1 break. He waited for the defender to commit and then sent a centering pass to Andrew Taylor, who easily beat Generals goalie Bujar Aznidovski to make it 1-0 with 6:20 to play in the first.
Charlotte continued to press, and after a scramble in the front of net, Konrad McKay knocked the puck in for a 2-0 lead with 4:30 left in the period.
The Generals got on the scoreboard in the second period on a breakaway opportunity. Chris Bell had the puck on the right wing and waited for Dan Passero to skate into the zone. Bell sent the pass to Passero, who hit a sizzling slap shot from just inside the blue line. Charlotte goalie Scott Meyer couldn't stop the hard shot, and the lead was cut to 2-i with 15:22 left in the period.
The comeback was short-lived.
The Checkers added another goal five minutes later when Generals defenseman Jason Robinson missed when he tried to clear the puck and Taylor slapped it in the net for the 3-1 lead.
"I felt bad for the fans", Townshend said. "I ask them not to give up on us. It's a long season."
NOTES: - The Generals continue to be one of the best teams in the league at killing penalties. Greensboro didn't allow a power-play goal Saturday, and has stopped 38 of 42 chances. ... The Generals were averaging a league leading 58.6 minutes in penalties per game.