The Checkers scored five unanswered goals to erase a 2-0 deficit and mark the best start in team history with a 5-2 victory in Rochester on Friday.
Zack Stortini started the rally with a wraparound goal early in the second period, with Warren Foegele, Trevor Carrick and Roland McKeown all finding the score sheet before the furious middle frame had concluded. Andrew Poturalski added his first of the season less than a minute into the third period as Charlotte improved to a franchise-best 4-1-0 start in their first five games of the regular season.
Charlotte will now take a perfect 3-0-0 record on the road with them as they continue this weekend’s trip with a pair of games in Toronto on Saturday and Sunday.
Alex Nedeljkovic also improved to 3-0-0 on the season with a 20 save effort that came in a game that saw his team out-shoot the opposition 32-22, including a 12-5 mark during the second-period onslaught. He got plenty of goal support from the Checkers, who have scored at least three goals in each of their games this season. Tonight’s five-goal output tied a season high set twice earlier and came against a Rochester team that entered the contest with the league’s No. 1 ranked defense.
The Checkers’ offensive prowess has helped erase the kind of slow start that they’ve seen all season, as the team, despite its record, has allowed their opponent to open the scoring in each game.
Lucas Wallmark (2g, 7a) and Andrew Miller (1g, 5a) each had assists, giving them points in all five games this season … Foegele, who has five goals in his first five professional games, is also averaging at least a point per game … This was the first-ever meeting between Charlotte and Rochester, even though both teams were in the AHL for the previous seven seasons … Nedeljkovic’s three-game win streak ties a career high … Carrick, who just returned from playing his first NHL game of the season, and defensive partner Jake Chelios each posted game-high, plus-3 ratings … Sixteen of 20 Checkers skaters recorded at least one point … This marked the first game of the season in which the Checkers did not score a power-play goal (0-for-4) … Forwards Julien Gauthier and Aleksi Saarela and defenseman Brenden Kichton missed the game due to injury … Forward Mike Ferrantino and defenseman Tyler Ganly were healthy extras.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.