The Checkers scored early and often as they started their season-long, eight-game road trip with a 6-1 victory in Belleville on Friday.
Nick Schilkey, Andrew Poturalski and Phil Di Giuseppe all scored in the first 8:58 of the first period of the first-ever meeting between the two clubs. After the Senators pulled one back in the second, Warren Foegele and Valentin Zykov answered back minutes later and Andrew Miller added a final dagger in the third.
Alex Nedeljkovic, who was only beaten following a turnover immediately behind his net, made 28 saves to improve to a perfect 6-0-0 on the season.
The six-goal outburst tied a season high for the Checkers, who have scored at least five goals in six of their 10 games this season. Most of the team’s offensive damage had traditionally come later in games, with the team only scoring six first-period goals in their previous nine games combined.
Charlotte entered the night tied for the league’s second-best mark in terms of goals per game … Foegele has six goals in his first eight professional games. He and Zykov are tied for the team lead in goal scoring … Tyler Ganly, playing just his second game of the season, had two assists on defense … Josiah Didier and Janne Kuokkanen each picked up an assist in their Checkers season debuts … The Checkers improved to 5-1-0 on the road this season, marking the best road start in team history … Defensemen Jake Chelios and Brendan Kichton missed the game due to injury … Forwards Mike Ferrantino, Julien Gauthier and Zack Stortini were healthy extras.
The Checkers look to sweep the Senators in tomorrow's rematch (7 p.m.).
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.