In their first preseason contest of the year, the Checkers fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4-2.
Aleksi Saarela was assessed a game misconduct for boarding in the middle frame, but the Checkers kept the home squad at bay for the entirety of the five-minute power play, and it was rookie Cliff Pu who pushed back and notched a shorthanded marker to pull within one goal though 40 minute of play. That would be all the offense Charlotte could produce, however, and a late empty-netter sealed the victory for the Phantoms.
Callum Booth took the spot between the pipes for Charlotte and made 20 saves while rookie Jeremy Helvig dressed as the backup.
The Checkers will return to action tomorrow night against the Phantoms once again for their final preseason tune-up.