Charlotte set the tone early, beginning with a Roland McKeown point blast less than two minutes in, and never took their foot off the gas. The red-hot start resulted in a 4-0 lead by the time the first buzzer sounded, with the Checkers stretching it to 6-1 in the next frame and wrapping things up with a third-period cherry on top to reach a 7-1 final.
The production came from all angles for Charlotte, with 12 different skaters finding the scoresheet throughout the night. Three different Checkers chipped in three-point efforts – Julien Gauthier and Janne Kuokkanen each posted a goal and two assists while Dave Gust racked up three helpers – and another three recorded multiple points.
While the Charlotte offense chased Hartford’s starter for the second consecutive night, Anton Forsberg turned in a strong performance in the opposite crease. The netminder stopped 28 of 29 shots throughout regulation to pick up his seventh win of the season.
It was very important on a couple of fronts. We sweep a team to get above .500 and then just to repeat the effort. We know they’re a really experienced team and were going to come at us. We did a good job of the things we’ve talked about in the last three weeks. We’re really starting to click and understand what our identity is.
Warsofsky on recent offensive success
When you play the right way, you can score. When you got guys moving, it’s hard to defend. It’s science. When you’re moving around the offensive zone and you’re holding on to pucks and there’s guys chasing you around, they get tired and you can wear teams down. You saw that the last two nights.
Warsofsky on depth scoring
Steven Lorentz from Game 1 to Game 28 has been one of our most improved forwards. You’re seeing a player really blossom as a pro and get confidence. He makes that play where instead of just ripping it he makes a nice little play and that skill set comes out and that’s nice to see. I think Max McCormick has been really good for us lately too, which has been important. These guys are figuring out how we need to play on a night-to-night basis and they’re doing everything they can.
Dave Gust on the team gaining momentum
I think we’re just starting to play the way we know how, and when we play the right way like that the offense starts to come. In the past two games we’ve done that and it’s shown.
Gust on getting off to a fast start
Getting that first one gives life on the bench and everyone’s up and at it, and then Shep getting in that fight got us going even more.
Janne Kuokkanen on the team’s play in the last two weeks
The last couple of weeks has been like a new team. I’m really happy and proud of these guys for how we’ve played the last couple of weeks. Good things will happen if we keep going like this.