Checkers Clinch Point, Fall in OT Thriller
CHARLOTTE, NC - The rematch between Charlotte and Hershey was a tight, low-scoring affair that saw the Checkers earn a point in the standings but ultimately fall thanks to a late overtime winner by the Bears.
The visitors drew things to a 1-1 tie with a late tally in the third period, sending the Checkers to overtime for the first time this season. The extra frame was a thrilling one, featuring over four-and-a-half minutes of near constant chances for each side. The game seemed destined for a shootout until a quick shot from Hershey's Lucas Johansen snuck through to clinch the win for the Bears with just 23 seconds left on the clock.
Logan Hutsko's red-hot start to his rookie year rolled on tonight, as the young forward crashed the net and potted his first pro goal early on in the middle frame to put Charlotte on the board. That would be the lone offensive breakthrough for the home side though, as they outshot the Bears 28-26 but couldn't solve netminder Zach Fucale beyond that.
In his first start of the season, Antoine Bibeau turned in a stellar performance against a formative Hershey offense, making 24 saves to help earn the Checkers a point in the standings.
Coach Geordie Kinnear on the effort
I thought we played a really good hockey game. I thought we limited their chances. They're obviously a high-end team, but the effort was there and I thought it was the most organized game we've played, and obviously we got good goaltending.
Kinnear on playing with a 1-0 lead
It'll be a little bit of a learning curve for us, but moving forward we want to get that killer instinct. That next goal is critical for us because you want to go up two and keep your foot on the gas, but I thought we handled it fine. We had that power play where you want to have that killer instinct and then they come back right after, end up getting a bounce and it ends up going in the back of the net. Overall I was very proud of the effort.
Kinnear on goaltender Antoine Bibeau
We had a lot of travel so he ended up going back to Allen and then we recalled him right away, so he spent two days in the car and hadn't practiced a lot. He had a couple of good practices here with Leo Luongo and the "dig in" was pretty impressive.
Kinnear on Logan Hutsko's goal
I like those types of goals. Second and third (chances) in front of the net in the blue paint. He loves traffic and he's very good in there, so it was definitely a reward for his work.
Logan Hutsko on playing Hershey
We've got to know them pretty well here early in the season. We were just trying to get pucks deep and play in the offensive zone, but obviously came up short.
Hutsko on his first professional goal
I missed a couple of chances here early in the first couple of games, so finally getting one in tonight felt really good. It definitely helped to get it out of the way.
Hutsko on playing at home
The crowd was great tonight and it was really fun playing in front of them. I wish we could have gotten the win, but we'll come back next weekend and be ready go to.
After dropping their opener against Hershey, the Checkers have points in each of their last three games (2-0-1) ... Hutsko now has five points (1g, 5a) in his first four AHL games ... He and Alexander True are the only Checkers to record at least one point in each game ... At the game's conclusion, True led the AHL in scoring with seven points (4g, 3a) in seven games and also had a league-best, plus-8 rating ... Hutsko was tied for fourth among rookie scorers ... Forwards Karch Bachman and Zac Dalpe missed the game due to injury ... Forward Henry Bowlby defenseman Frank Hora were healthy extras.
The Checkers head back out on the road for a three-in-three next weekend, beginning with a Friday matchup in Providence.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from October 23, 2021
- Marlies Fall 7-3 to Rochester - Toronto Marlies
- Marlies Fall 7-3 to Rochester - Toronto Marlies
- Halbgewachs' Two-Goal Performance Leads Barracuda to 3-2 Win over Colorado - Colorado Eagles
- Fans Return for Opening Night - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Wolves Whomp Milwaukee - Chicago Wolves
- Crunch Downed by Comets, 2-1 - Syracuse Crunch
- Pour and Nylander Strike in 5-2 Loss at Iowa - Rockford IceHogs
- Comets Remain Unbeaten, Defeat Crunch 2-1 - Utica Comets
- Islanders Rally past Thunderbirds in OT - Bridgeport Islanders
- P-Bruins Fall to Laval Rocket, 4-0 - Providence Bruins
- Swaney Stays Hot in 5-2 Win over Rockford - Iowa Wild
- T-Birds Secure Point, But Isles Steal Victory in OT - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Monsters Battle Back for 2-1 Victory over Senators - Cleveland Monsters
- Bears Split Weekend with Dramatic Overtime Win - Hershey Bears
- Checkers Clinch Point, Fall in OT Thriller - Charlotte Checkers
- Amerks Open Road Swing with 7-3 Win in Toronto - Rochester Americans
- Tampa Bay Lightning Recall Defenseman Fredrik Claesson from Syracuse Crunch - Syracuse Crunch
- 5 Things: Heat at Bakersfield - Stockton Heat
- Reese Johnson Recalled to Blackhawks - Rockford IceHogs
- Heat Face Condors Saturday at Mechanics Bank Arena - Stockton Heat
- Wolf Pack Conclude Weekend with Trip to Lehigh Valley - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Defenseman Colton White Assigned to Utica - Utica Comets
- Game Preview: Bears at Checkers, 6 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Rochester Americans Game Preview: Saturday, October 23 at Toronto - Rochester Americans
- IceHogs and Wild Prepare for Physical Rematch Tonight in Des Moines - Rockford IceHogs
- Heat Fly Past Gulls, 6-2, Friday in San Diego - Stockton Heat
- Abbotsford Canucks Win Thriller in Inaugural Home Opener - Abbotsford Canucks
- Silver Knights Fall, 3-2, to Canucks - Henderson Silver Knights
- Sellout Sees Gulls Fall in Home Opener - San Diego Gulls
- Reign Tops Bakersfield 3-2 - Ontario Reign
- Barracuda Earn First Win of the Year with Third-Period Comeback - San Jose Barracuda
- Heat Fly Past Gulls, 6-2, in Road Opener - Stockton Heat
- Berdin, Moose Shutout Grand Rapids 1-0 - Manitoba Moose
- Griffins Fall 0-1 in Defensive Battle with Manitoba - Grand Rapids Griffins
- San Jose Rallies in Third to Top Eagles, 5-4 - Colorado Eagles
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Charlotte Checkers Stories
- Checkers Send Bridgeport Packing with 4-0 Win
- Checkers to Face Springfield Thunderbirds in Round 3 of Playoffs
- Checkers Stumble in Game 3 Loss
- Zac Dalpe Completes Hat Trick with Double OT Winner in Game 2
- Dalpe Scores in Double Overtime to Give Checkers 2-0 Series Lead