The Checkers ran into a red-hot Utica squad Friday night and couldn’t hand them their first loss of the season, dropping an 8-2 decision to the Comets.
The tone was set in the first frame when the Comets opened the scoring midway through the period, then tallied two more less than 30 seconds apart to build a 3-0 lead and chase starter Alex Nedeljkovic from the game.
The second period featured a valiant effort from Charlotte to turn the tide, but a shorthanded breakaway conversion by the league’s leading goal scorer Reid Boucher extended that lead to 4-0 through 40 minutes.
Charlotte’s lone offensive surge came early in the third, when Hunter Shinkaruk and Eetu Luostarinen both cleaned up rebounds less than a minute apart. Unfortunately for the visitors, the Comets responded in between those tallies, then knocked in another three before the final buzzer to bring things to a lopsided 8-2 final.
The eight goals allowed are the most allowed by the Checkers since setting a franchise record with nine on Oct. 17, 2015 … The Checkers were shut out on four man advantages, snapping a four-game streak of power-play goals … The Checkers snapped their three-game streak of perfect penalty kills … The Checkers have allowed multiple goals in a period in each of their last three games … Shinkaruk scored his first goal as a Checker … Luostarinen now has goals in two straight games … Morgan Geekie snapped his four-game point streak … Max McCormick made his Checkers debut … Stelio Mattheos and Spencer Smallman both missed the game due to injury … Anthony Louis, Kyle Wood, Cavan Fitzgerald and Alex Lintuniemi were healthy scratches
The Checkers will have the chance to bounce back quickly as they travel to Syracuse for a 7 p.m. puck drop tomorrow night.
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.