Matt Corrente
Needing a win in a big way, the Checkers got goals from their top two scorers, Zach Boychuk and Chris Terry, on the way to a 2-1 victory over the Iowa Wild.

With the win, Charlotte climbed to within one point of the Rochester Americans, who sit in eighth place in the Western Conference after losing earlier in the day. The victory also brings the Checkers to within two points of seventh-place Rockford.

John Muse made 24 saves for his franchise-record 23rd victory of the season, while Terry’s goal extended his point streak to eight games (7g, 3a).

Charlotte got on the board midway through the first period on the power play when leading goal scorer Boychuk stuffed home a loose puck from behind Iowa goaltender Johan Gustaffson. Boychuk’s 15th power-play goal of the season pulled him into a tie with Rochester’s Luke Adam for the league lead in that category.

Muse made several key saves later in the period to preserve the one-goal lead for the Checkers, who led 12-3 in shots through 20 minutes.

Iowa fought back and tied the game on a strange goal midway through the second period. The play seemed as though it would be waved off due to icing, but Wild forward Zack Phillips picked up the puck behind the Charlotte goal and fed it to Kris Foucault, who converted a one-timer past Muse from the slot.

In the third period, Iowa defenseman Kyle Medvec was called for a check to the head of Checkers forward Sean Dolan and the dangerous combo of Terry and Boychuk went to work on the power play once again. Boychuk worked the puck back to defenseman Michal Jordan, who fed Terry for his signature one-timer from the right wing, which beat Gustaffson for a 2-1 lead.

Charlotte continued to press in the final minutes and Muse shut the door on two Iowa chances, preserving the victory and securing the all-important two points.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow in Iowa at 8:05 p.m. ET.

NOTES

With the win, the Checkers pulled to within one point of Rochester for the eighth and final playoff spot (10 games remaining)… Muse set the all-time single-season Checkers record with his 23rd victory… Terry scored to extend his point streak to eight games (7g, 3a)… Boychuk’s goal tied him with Rochester’s Luke Adam for the league lead in power-play goals… Boychuk (29) and Terry (27) now rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the AHL in goals… Defenseman Ryan Murphy was assigned by the Hurricanes earlier in the day but was unavailable for the game… Greg Nemisz, Aaron Palushaj and Brendan Woods missed the game with injuries.
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