Heading up to Canada for the final time this season, the Checkers picked up a crucial two points with a 4-3 victory over the Manitoba Moose.
As has been the trend lately, the game kicked off with a wild first period. The Moose enjoyed an early lead thanks to a quick deflection in front less than three minutes in, but the Checkers promptly responded and never looked back.
Lucas Wallmark hammered home a gift-wrapped rebound out front two minutes later to get the Checkers on the board, then Connor Brickley put the visitors on top with a deflection tally of his own less than a minutes after that. Andrew Miller and Patrice Cormier each continued the run of tip-in goals going later in the frame to put the score at 3-2 after a busy first 20 minutes.
Things tightened up in the middle period, with the Moose outshooting the Checkers 15-5, but it was the visitors who would strike first to extend their lead. While shorthanded, Brendan Woods applied pressure on the forecheck and dug the puck out of the Manitoba corner, feeding a streaking Danny Kristo who sniped a laser into the top corner. The Moose would pull back within one late in the second, again on a redirection, but this time off a Charlotte defender’s leg. Manitoba would continue to chase that equalizer, but Daniel Altshuller stood tall between the pipes and kept them at bay, riding out the rest of regulation and handing the Checkers a road win.
The Checkers have now earned points in three straight road games, their longest such streak this season … Tonight was the fifth time in the last 10 games that the Checkers have scored at least twice in the first period. It was also the fourth straight game in which they’ve allowed at least two goals in the first period … Danny Kristo picked up his third multi-point game in seven with the Checkers … Philip Samuelsson and Andrew Miller both recorded points in their second straight game … Daniel Altshuller stopped a season-high 35 shots to improve his record to 4-2-0 during his last seven appearances … Danny Kristo’s shorthanded goal was the Checkers’ first since Dec. 20, 2016 … Tonight Connor Brickley’s 200th pro game and Bryan Bickell's 700th pro game … Both Bryan Bickell and Connor Brickley exited the game due to injury and did not return … Tyler Ganly, Clark Bishop and Tom McCollum were healthy extras … Kyle Hagel, Patrick Dwyer and Michael Leighton missed the game due to injury
The Checkers will close out both their season series with the Moose and their mini road trip tomorrow at 8 p.m.
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.