Try as they might, the Checkers couldn’t end their California road trip with a bang, stumbling to a 5-2 loss in Ontario.

It was all Ontario out of the gate, with the home squad getting on the board five minutes in and not looking back. The Reign pumped in three more unanswered tallies to build a staggering 4-0 lead late in the second frame.

The Checkers looked to create a bit of a spark in the final minute of the second, with Levko Koper receiving a feed from Andrew Poturalski in front and burying it to put the visitors on the board. That momentum wouldn’t carry to the other side of the intermission though, as Ontario potted its fifth goal of the night quickly in the final period. Koper would tack on his second of the night later in the frame, again with a quick wrister from the slot, but it would be too little, too late, and the Checkers would skate away with a 5-2 defeat.

After showing an uptick in last night’s overtime loss to Bakersfield, Charlotte’s special teams reverted back to their old ways tonight. The visitors couldn’t muster up any goals on their three opportunities, while the Reign broke through twice on the man advantage.

There wasn’t much action for either side in terms of shots on goal – neither team managed to fire a double-digit amount in any period – but the Reign proved to be opportunistic. They scored three goals on their first nine shots in the first before chasing starter Alex Nedeljkvoic after 40 minutes. Entering the game in relief was Daniel Altshuller, who surrendered a goal early in the third on the first shot he saw but proceeded to turn aside the following seven.

The loss brings a merciful end to the Checkers’ West Coast swing, a trip that saw them take just one point out of a possible 12. Charlotte’s road winless streak sits at a franchise-worst 10 games, while overall they are 2-10-2 over their last 14 games.

Despite the relief of returning to their home ice, the Checkers’ schedule isn’t slowing down. They’ll regroup before hosting Manitoba and Grand Rapids for four games in seven days next week.

NOTES

With two goals tonight, Koper now has three in his AHL career, all coming against Ontario … The Checkers have failed to score more than two goals in each of their last seven games and 12 of their last 14 … Kyle Hagel dropped the gloves for the fifth time this season, tying him for the league lead … Roland McKeown was not on the bench for the end of the third period … Josh Wesley and Cason Hohmann were healthy extras … Kris Newbury, Brendan Woods, Connor Brickley, Haydn Fleury and Trevor Carrick missed the game due to injury
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.