Charlotte Checkers vs. Norfolk Admirals
Trailing 4-1 at the second intermission, the Checkers very nearly completed the comeback in their second and final exhibition game in Norfolk on Saturday.

Forwards Nicolas Blanchard and Justin Shugg scored third-period goals to bring Charlotte within one at Scope Arena, but the team was unable to convert a power-play opportunity with 3:01 remaining in regulation and ultimately fell by a 4-3 score.

Rookie center Victor Rask had the Checkers’ other goal, while goaltender Mike Murphy made 30 saves as Norfolk out-shot Charlotte by a margin of 34-26. After scoring two power-play goals in their first exhibition game, the Checkers went 1-for-9 against Norfolk on Saturday, including a missed five-on-three opportunity in the second period. Shugg’s goal, in which he batted the puck out of mid-air and past goalie John Gibson, represented their lone man-advantage strike.

Together with their 4-2 triumph over the Admirals at Extreme Ice Center one day earlier, Saturday’s loss caused the Checkers to finish the preseason with a split of their home-and-home series against Norfolk. Training camp continues next week, leading up to the regular-season opener at Oklahoma City on Friday.


Charlotte killed five of six Norfolk power plays … Rookie defenseman Danny Biega engaged in a fight against Teigan Zahn with 24 seconds remaining in the game … Austin Levi, Matt Marquardt, Sean Dolan, Mark Flood and Aaron Palushaj each had one assist for Charlotte … Flood’s assist gave him three in two preseason games, tying him with Zach Boychuk (1g, 2a) and Palushaj (2g, 1a) for the team’s preseason scoring lead … Boychuk, defenseman Michal Jordan and goalie Justin Peters were healthy extras for Charlotte and did not play.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.