Chicago scored twice in the first 6:36 of this contest and never looked back, with Phil Di Giuseppe scoring to briefly make it 3-1 early in the second period and Patrick Brown scoring the game’s final goal in the third. The Wolves, who won their eighth straight game and third in four meetings with the Checkers this season, scored five goals on 29 shots against starting goaltender Daniel Altshuller, with C.J. Motte stopping all 11 he faced after making his Checkers debut to start the third period.
Charlotte has one game remaining on its third six-game road trip of the season, a Tuesday night matchup in Milwaukee, before beginning a season-long, eight-game home stand at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Friday, Jan. 13. The Checkers’ 23 games played on the road are the most of any AHL team.
One night following a big win over the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Checkers started slowly against a Wolves team that was coming off a 7-2 victory over Rockford on home ice, also on Friday. Chicago’s Bryce Gervais got things going just 2:45 into the game, with Jordan Schmaltz taking advantage of a 19-second, two-man advantage that came with Charlotte’s Roland McKeown and Kris Newbury in the penalty box.
Chicago held a 16-5 shots advantage after the first period, with the Checkers taking nearly 11 minutes to fire their first shot on goal. The Wolves ended the game with a 40-24 shots advantage against Charlotte, which has now been out-scored 22-46 in first periods this season.
It took the Wolves’ Ivan Barbashev just 32 seconds to capitalize on carryover power play to start the second period, a goal that would hold up as the eventual game winner. After Di Giuseppe got his team back within two on a blast from the right point that scored with help from a well-placed Lucas Wallmark screen, the Wolves would answer back with two more second-period goals from Wade Megan and Reid McNeill to make it 5-1 at the second intermission.
The third period’s lone goal came off the stick of Brown, who put home a nice centering feed from defenseman Dennis Robertson. Robertson’s assist gave him four points (1g, 3a) in his last five games, a sharp uptick from the single point he scored in his first 19 outings of the season.