Checkers Erupt for Seven Goals in Win over Toronto
CHARLOTTE, NC - Charlotte's offense came to play Sunday, hanging seven goals on Toronto en route to a big 7-3 victory over the Marlies.
Five different Checkers notched multiple points on the night, with Morgan Geekie leading the way with a pair of goals and an assist. The man advantage also proved fruitful for the home side, as Geekie and Steven Lorentz each struck on the power play to give Charlotte two goals on three opportunities.
After Charlotte grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening frame, things erupted in the second. Starting with a Dave Gust strike 19 ticks in, the Checkers scored three straight in the first half of the period to build a 4-0 lead. The Marlies woke up at that point, though, and rattled off three straight goals of their own over a four-minute span to narrow the lead to one.
Lorentz cut off the Toronto rally with a tally late in the second and the Checkers would regain their composure from there. Two more strikes for the home side in the third and strong defensive play down the stretch would be enough to let Charlotte coast its way to another victory, sweeping the Marlies and extending the win streak to five games.
Coach Ryan Warsofsky
I just thought we were determined. We were determined to keep this streak going. We were playing at home with our identity and every guy in that room really pulled the rope the right way. That's what you need to do to be successful. Credit to the guys. I'm proud of them. They've worked extremely hard these last three or four weeks since the Christmas break. It's been a grind, and we'll be able to catch our breath here before playing next weekend and then the All-Star break. I'm proud of them.
Warsofsky on Morgan Geekie
He's using his shot. It's something that we've talked to him a lot about - he's got to shoot the puck more. He can score from a distance, and he's done that the last couple of games. He's holding on the pucks and getting his motor going. He's come a long way.
Warsofsky on the week ahead
We're going to just catch our breath here. We're going to rest up tomorrow and have an easy day on Tuesday. There's still some things we've got to work on defensively. We have a good team coming in to play us and we have to make sure we're sharp.
Warsofsky on Brian Gibbons, who left last night's game due to injury
He's going to be out long term. Probably 8-10 weeks.
Morgan Geekie on the game
I thought we started out good last game and we wanted to bring that same sort of intensity to this one, carry it throughout the game and not let them in the way we did yesterday. I thought we did a good job of that today.
Geekie on scoring seven goals against Toronto
We've got four good lines and a lot of D that can jump in the play. Everyone's just on the same page right now. Everyone is working together and there's one goal, and that's just to put pucks in the net.
The Checkers have won five in a row, 11 of 12 and 15 of 18. Their current win streak is their second-longest of the season, trailing only a six-game streak from Dec. 22-Jan. 8 ... The Checkers are third in the Atlantic Division and just two points behind second-placed Hershey with a game in hand. They were last in the division (eighth) on Dec. 7 ... Seven goals ties the most the Checkers have scored in a single game this season (two previous occasions) ... There were seven total goals in the second period, which was the most of any period for the Checkers this season. The Checkers had scored four goals in a period on two previous occasions ... Geekie extended his point streak to seven games (5g, 4a). It ties the second-longest point streak by a Checker this season, trailing only a nine-game run by Gauthier ... Jake Bean recorded his second consecutive multi-point game and fourth in his last six ... Dave Gust has goals in three straight and games and points in four straight ... Lorentz recorded his third multi-point game in his last four (4g, 2a). He already has 20 more points than he scored last season ... The Checkers scored on the power play for the seventh consecutive game. They are 10-for-24 during that time (41.7 percent) ... Dating back to last season's playoffs, the Checkers have won four straight against the Marlies ... Forwards Brian Gibbons, Stelio Mattheos and Kerby Rychel missed the game due to injury ... Forward Cedric Lacroix and defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald were healthy extras.
The Checkers' home stand continues Friday as they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to town for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
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