The Checkers wrapped up their quick weekend road trip with a decisive win over Binghamton, dominating the Devils by a 7-1 score.
Despite failing to break through on any of their six man-advantages, the Checkers had no issues scoring at even strength and showed as much right out of the gates. Julien Gauthier shoveled home a beautiful spinning feed from Sergey Tolchinsky 2:10 into the game, then just 12 seconds later Nick Schilkey ripped in a one-timer to double the lead.
Things would settle for the remainder of the first, but the start of the second period brought about another run from the Charlotte attack. A strange bounce of the puck out of netminder Mackenzie Blackwood’s glove extended the vistors’ lead 71 seconds into the frame, then Gauthier pulled off a power move to the net for his second of the night less than a minute after that. The Checkers pounced on the reeling Devils once more in their early frenzy, with Valentin Zykov threading a quick wrister off the post and in to put Charlotte comfortably ahead 5-0 and chase Blackwood from the contest.
Binghamton finally broke through on Alex Nedeljkovic, who finished with 20 saves and picked up his AHL-leading 12th win, late in the second, but the Checkers had one more hot start in them. Tolchinsky, who would finish the night with a career-high four points, knocked home a cross-ice feed less than five minutes after the start of the frame to make it a 6-1 contest before Zykov finished things off with his second of the night to cap the blowout victory for Charlotte.
The Checkers extended their point streak to a season-best six games and matched a season best with their fourth consecutive win … 14 of Charlotte’s 18 skaters recorded a point … Julien Gauthier recorded his first multi-point/multi-goal game as a pro … Gauthier is the third Checkers rookie this season to notch at least three points in a game (Kuokkanen and Foegele) … Sergey Tolchinsky set a career high with four points, tying the most by a Checker in a single game this season … Six of the Checkers’ seven goals came within the first five minutes of the period … Gauthier and Nick Schilkey’s goals at 2:10 and 2:22 of the first period are the two fastest goals by the Checkers this season … Tonight was the second time this season that the Checkers have scored at least seven goals, the fourth time they’ve scored at least six goals and the 10th time they’ve scored at least five … Andrew Miller extended his point & assist streaks to four games … Andrew Poturalski lit the lamp for the second straight game … Jake Chelios recorded an assist in his second straight game since returning from injury … Lucas Wallmark missed the game due to injury … Zack Stortini, Mike Ferrantino and Dennis Robertson all served as healthy extras
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.