The Checkers came out flying in their first preseason appearance, using a fast start and a potent power play to defeat the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by an 8-1 score on Friday.
In his first appearance with the team following a prolific collegiate career at Ohio State, rookie Nick Schilkey led the way with three goals and an assist for Charlotte, which led 5-0 after the first period in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Fellow rookies Spencer Smallman, Steven Lorentz and Warren Foegele also scored goals, as did veteran holdovers Patrick Brown and Andrew Miller. Winger Sergey Tolchinsky had three assists.
Charlotte finished the game 4-for-6 on the power play, with the bulk of the damage coming in a first period that saw the team capitalize on both penalties in a five-on-three advantage via Schilkey and Brown. Those goals were part of a surge in which the Checkers scored three times in 55 seconds around the midway point of the first period.
The two teams conclude their preseason slate with a Saturday night rematch in Lehigh Valley. The Checkers begin their regular season with a two-game road trip in Hartford and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton starting Friday.