After a season-opening loss the night before in Hartford, the Checkers righted the ship in Springfield with a convincing 4-2 victory over the Thunderbirds.
As they did last night, the Checkers opened the scoring thanks to a power-play snipe from Morgan Geekie. Unlike last night, they were able to build off that early momentum, as Steven Lorentz launched a one-timer from the right circle later in the frame to give the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Newcomer Anthony Louis extended the Charlotte lead early on in the middle frame, redirecting a slick feed from Janne Kuokkanen past an outstretched Thunderbirds netminder. The home side answer late in the period to show some life and head into the final frame down by two.
Springfield pushed hard in the third, outshooting Charlotte 16-7, and finally broke through in the waning minutes of regulation to pull within one with less than three to play. Their comeback attempt would be hampered by a penalty shortly after, however, and a nice move from Julien Gauthier provided the final nail in Springfield’s coffin, sealing the Checkers’ first win of the new season.
Anton Forsberg made his Charlotte debut and stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced en route to a win … Roland McKeown set a career high with three assists on the night … Gauthier has now lit the lamp in two straight games … Brian Gibbons notched an assist for the second straight game … Morgan Geekie and Dave Gust each extended their point streaks to two games … Louis scored his first goal in a Charlotte sweater … Jake Bean recorded his first multi-assist game of the season … The Checkers recorded a power-play goal for the second straight game and are now 3-for-6 on the season … The Checkers were perfect of the penalty kill and have now killed nine straight penalties dating back to Saturday in Hartford … Kyle Wood made his Checkers debut … Stelio Mattheos, Spencer Smallman and Max McCormick all missed the game due to injury … Ryan Horvat, Cedric Lacroix, Alex Lintuniemi, Reid McNeill, Cavan Fitzgerald and Derek Sheppard were all healthy extras
The Checkers now return to Charlotte to prepare for their home opener on Friday against Bridgeport, which will include a Calder Cup Champs banner raising and a free replica banner giveaway.
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.