The Checkers got off to a fast start and didn’t look back as they defeated the Manitoba Moose 4-1 on Friday night, sweeping a two-game series north of the border.
Lucas Wallmark and Connor Brickley scored their second goals in as many games less than two minutes apart in the first period, with Trevor Carrick adding one of his own to put the Checkers up 3-0 after just 10 minutes. That would be more than enough for new Charlotte goaltender Tom McCollum, who made 49 saves, the most by a Checkers goaltender all season, in his first game since joining the team on a loan deal from Stockton earlier in the week.
Andrew Miller tacked on a third-period goal for the Checkers, who extended their road point streak to a season-best four games (3-0-1). In addition to his goal, Wallmark picked up two assists to lead all skaters with three points on the night. He also led the Checkers with six shots on goal.
The Checkers finished their eight-game season series with Manitoba at 6-2-0 … Wallmark and Jake Chelios (one assist tonight) led the Checkers with nine points in the series … Wallmark’s 21 goals are tied for second among AHL rookies and are two shy of matching the club record for most by a rookie in a single season (Zac Dalpe, 2010-11) … Miller has 13 points (4g, 9a) in his last nine games … Brickley has 10 points (5g, 5a) in his last 15 games after scoring just seven in his first 37 … The Checkers now have seven shorthanded goals this season, two of which came during this series in Manitoba … The Checkers allowed less than three goals for just the second time in their last nine games … Checkers forwards Erik Karlsson and Danny Kristo left the game with injuries in the first period and did not return … Forwards Bryan Bickell, Patrick Dwyer and Kyle Hagel and goaltender Michael Leighton missed the game due to injury … Defenseman Tyler Ganly was a healthy extra.
The Checkers begin a six-game home stand at Bojangles’ Coliseum with back-to-back games against the Ontario Reign starting Friday, March 17. The team will wear special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys that will be sold at a live auction immediately following that game.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.