Charlotte Checkers at Manitoba Moose
The Checkers did not start 2017 the way they had hoped as the team fell 4-1 to the Moose on a New Year’s Day matinee in Manitoba.

After the team had already fallen behind 3-0, Andrew Poturalski scored the lone goal for Charlotte, which missed an opportunity to sweep a two-game set against the Moose and improve to 4-0-0 in the overall season series. Michael Leighton made 27 saves for the Checkers, who continue their six-game road trip Tuesday in Chicago.

Charlotte, which ended its franchise-record, 12-game winless streak on the road with Friday’s overtime victory of the Moose, has now played 20 road games this season – more than any AHL team.

Contrary to how the rest of the game would play out, Charlotte started brightly by taking a 9-1 shots on goal advantage in the first period. After they were unable to capitalize, the Moose got on the board via their captain, Patrice Cormier, who collected a loose puck in front and beat Leighton.

Manitoba scored twice more in the second, first on Brendan Lemieux’s power-play tally and again on Brandon Tanev’s shot that beat Leighton five-hole through traffic, putting Charlotte in a significant hole heading into the third. Poturalski gave the visitors the start they were hoping to get during that period as he fired a shot from the point that beat Ondrej Pavelec through traffic on the power play, but the Moose answered back on Scott Kosmachuk’s power-play goal to provide the final dagger.

After playing Chicago Tuesday, the Checkers will travel to Grand Rapids, back to Chicago and then to Milwaukee before beginning an eight-game home stand at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Jan. 13.

NOTES

Leighton, who recorded his 229th career AHL victory on Friday, missed an opportunity to take sole possession of sixth on the league’s all-time list … Lucas Wallmark’s three-game goal streak came to an end … Charlotte has six power-play goals in its last 16 games, four of which were against the Moose … Haydn Fleury fired a game-high five shots on goal, marking his fourth game with at least that many this season … The Checkers allowed multiple power-play goals for the fifth time this season … The Checkers fell to 4-13-2 on the road this season … Forwards Andrew Miller, Kris Newbury and Brendan Woods and defenseman Trevor Carrick missed the game due to injury … Forward Mitchell Heard and defenseman Josh Wesley were healthy extras.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.

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