The Checkers made things interesting with a frenzied push late but they couldn’t quite complete their comeback, falling to Lehigh Valley 3-2.

After a scoreless first period, the Phantoms jumped ahead with a pair of tallies in the second and then tacked on another to build a substantial lead midway through the third frame.

While the Checkers struggled for much of regulation to create an offensive push and beat Lehigh Valley netminder Alex Lyon, they were finally able to break through inside the final five minutes when Max McCormick redirected a point shot through. That gave the home side a spark, as Clark Bishop jumped in and found the back of the net just 31 seconds later to pull Charlotte within one late.

Charlotte was buzzing for the remainder of regulation. They put significant pressure on the Phantoms with an extra attacker on, but the Checkers couldn’t quite turn that momentum into a tying goal and Lehigh Valley escaped with the two points.

QUOTES

Coach Ryan Warsofsky on getting two goals late
We got a couple of goals for a little boost and a little energy. It was just a little too late.

Warsofsky on the rest of the game
I actually didn’t mind our first 10 minutes. We just didn’t have the jump tonight. We were flat, we weren’t skating enough, we weren’t supporting the puck and we were just being too cute. It’s really that simple.

Warsofsky on his message from the bench during the game
Simplify. Simplify our game. We didn’t do that until late in the hockey game, and it was too late. The identity of our team is pretty spot on. We saw what we just did against Hartford and we got away from it.

Warsofsky on Lehigh Valley
They just wanted it a little more, they were digging a little bit deeper, they were harder on pucks and they were skating. They were out-playing us for 55 of those minutes.

Warsofsky on takeaways from this game
We didn’t give up, we kept grinding. There’s some players in there that can play better, and I’m sure if you asked them they’d say the same thing. We’ve got to learn from it and we’ve to figure these things out so these bad habits don’t keep creeping into our game.

NOTES

The Checkers missed an opportunity to win three in a row for the first time this season … Lehigh Valley won for just the second time in their last seven outings and is now tied with the Checkers for sixth in the Atlantic Division … The Phantoms have won four of five meetings in the season series thus far, with all five games decided by one goal … The Checkers allowed a power-play goal for the sixth straight game but still rank first in the AHL at 89.8 percent for the season … Max McCormick extended his goal/point streak to three games (3g, 2a) … Bishop (1g, 2a) and Spencer Smallman (1g, 2a) each extended their point streak to three games … Charlotte was missing two of its top four scorers as Julien Gauthier (illness) and Morgan Geekie (injury) both missed out … Forwards Terry Broadhurst, Colin Markison, Stelio Mattheos and Kerby Rychel also missed the game due to injury.
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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.