The Checkers closed out a grueling stretch of games with a big win 3-1 win over the Laval Rocket to finish off the weekend sweep.

With a quick turnaround from last night’s contest neither team could grab a hold of tonight’s rematch – Charlotte outshot the visitors 7-3 in the opening period but were outshot 11-2 the following frame. Each side converted once in the first, with Aleksi Saarela launching a laser wrist shot on a two-man advantage and Michael McCarron responding with a two-on-one finish minutes later.

That would prove to be the only scoring action until the third period, when Martin Necas followed up a Nicolas Roy shot midway through the frame and popped in the rebound to give Charlotte a 2-1 lead. Laval would push back but to no avail, as netminder Callum Booth stood tall to make 26 saves in his second start of the year. Roland McKeown deposited a puck into the empty net just before time expired to seal the deal and send the Checkers off with their third consecutive home win.

QUOTES

Coach Mike Vellucci on how the game was played
We just got done with 10 games in 17 days, and even these Sunday at 1 o’clock after playing Saturday night games are kind of a grind for both teams. It was played really well in the neutral zone by both teams so there wasn’t a lot of room, but our winning goal was off a neutral-zone regroup where Marty got some speed and continued it into the zone. It was a big goal for us.

Vellucci on Callum Booth
I was impressed with his game today, more than he’s played in his other games for us. He was a lot calmer in net, he made some big saves when he had to, he moved the puck really well and I was very proud of the job he did tonight.

Callum Booth on getting the win
It’s fun. I think you realize when you go out there how much you love playing hockey and it brings it back. It’s definitely been a lot of hard work in practice getting ready, and it’s been awesome going out there and having the team play as well as they did in front of you. It makes it pretty special in my first home start.

Booth on the game
I know their (Laval’s) coach pretty well from junior hockey – we had a couple of hard games against him – and their style works. We’re just lucky our team was able to get a couple goals and come out victorious.

Martin Necas on the level of fatigue from the team’s recent schedule
When you’re winning and you’re playing good, you always feel better so it’s not too bad. We’ve had many games, and especially in this game you feel more tired than the other ones, but I think it was pretty good.

NOTES

Charlotte is now 6-0-0 all time against Laval … The team improved to 16-4-1 on the season, including five wins in their last six games … Booth improved to 3-1-0 on the season. He now owns a 2.27 goals-against average and .907 save percentage … Necas has four points in his last three games, including two game-winning goals … After scoring two goals in his first 16 games of the season, Saarela has five in his last five … Jake Bean extended his career-long point streak to four games (1g, 3a) … The Checkers’ two shots in the second period were a season low … Forward Spencer Smallman and defenseman Josiah Didier missed the game due to injury … Forwards Morgan Geekie, Nick Schilkey and Zack Stortini and defenseman Trevor Carrick were healthy extras.

UP NEXT

After a week of practice the Checkers will embark on a three-in-three road trip starting Friday in Providence.
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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.