Checkers Stomp Springfield 4-1 to Start Busy Weekend
SPRINGFIELD, MA - The Checkers started their three-in-three road trip on a high note with a convincing 4-1 win over the Thunderbirds.
The first period proved to be a high-energy frame with several strong offensive chances for the Checkers, including one by defenseman Haydn Fleury as he broke up a zone entry attempt by Springfield's power-play unit and sprung himself on a shorthanded breakaway that was deftly handled by Thunderbird goaltender Samuel Montembeault. Shortly after, a beautiful passing sequence between the top line of Aleksi Saarela, Martin Necas and Andrew Poturalski hit off the post and appeared to cross the goal line, but after a video review it was determined to be a no-goal.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the first period the Checkers broke through with a power-play goal by Nick Schilkey to take a 1-0 lead and give the forward his tenth tally of the season. Charlotte goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic continued to stand tall, saving all seven shots he faced to maintain the clean sheet going into the second period.
The Checkers continued their offensive momentum with back-to-back goals in the middle frame. Zach Nastasiuk fired a bullet into the top corner on a late-developing 2-on-1 chance for his third goal of the season, and then just 41 seconds later Julien Gauthier used his big, net-front presence to bury a rebound following a no-look pass from Schilkey in the slot.
The third period provided a fitting end to a competitive division rivalry with a heavyweight fight between Dan Renouf and Thunderbirds' forward Bobby Farnham. With less than three minutes remaining in the game Dryden Hunt tapped in Springfield's only goal after a save by Nedeljkovic and a fortunate bounce off the post. To provide the proverbial dagger, though, Steven Lorentz buried an empty-netter to lift the Checkers to a 4-1 win.
Tonight snapped a three-game winless streak for the Checkers, tied for their longest of the season ... Tonight was the second time the Checkers have scored at least three goals in their seven games ... With a goal and an assist Nick Schilkey now has five points (3g, 2a) in two games this season against Springfield ... Tonight was Patrick Brown's fifth multi-point game of the season and his first multi-assist game ... Alex Nedeljkovic extended his AHL wins lead and has now allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last six starts ... Dan Renouf dropped the gloves with Bobby Farnham for his seventh fighting major of the year and now ranks third in the AHL in both penalty minutes and major penalties ... The Checkers have now won five straight three-in-three games ... Spencer Smallman missed the game due to injury ... Zack Stortini, Dennis Robertson and Bobby Sanguinetti were healthy extras
The Checkers will be back in action tomorrow in Providence to take on the third-place Bruins.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from February 15, 2019
- Roadrunners Stymied by Stars in 2-0 Shutout Loss - Tucson Roadrunners
- Stars Blank Roadrunners in 2-0 Shutout - Texas Stars
- Hats off to Megan in Griffins' Win - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Rocket Snap Losing Streak with 4-3 Victory over Devils - Laval Rocket
- Amerks Blanked by Crunch 1-0, Drop Third Straight - Rochester Americans
- T.J. Brennan Scores OT Winner for Phantoms - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Wolves Goosed by the Moose - Chicago Wolves
- Koivula, Lorito and St. Denis each score in overtime loss on Friday - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Megan Hat Trick Snaps Rampage Streak - San Antonio Rampage
- Sens Point Streak Hits 11 - Belleville Senators
- Checkers Stomp Springfield 4-1 to Start Busy Weekend - Charlotte Checkers
- Monsters Clip Senators in Shootout, 2-1 - Cleveland Monsters
- P-Bruins Defeat Marlies 3-1 in 2nd Meeting - Providence Bruins
- Crunch Shutout Americans, 1-0 - Syracuse Crunch
- Devils Win Streak Ends in 4-3 Loss to Laval - Binghamton Devils
- T-Birds Fall to First-Place Checkers - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Pucks and Paws Day Set for March 10 - San Jose Barracuda
- Thunderbirds Host Checkers, Marlies to Start 3-In-3 Weekend - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Jets Recall Sami Niku from the Manitoba Moose - Manitoba Moose
- Dallas Stars Recall Center Joel L'Esperance - Texas Stars
- Flames Recall Curtis Lazar from Stockton - Stockton Heat
- Wolf Pack Sign Defenseman Matt Finn to PTO - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Heat Launch Heat365 Referral Program - Stockton Heat
- Game #46 Preview: Tucson at Texas - Tucson Roadrunners
- Cannata, Anderson Reassigned to ECHL's Utah Grizzlies - Colorado Eagles
- Coyotes Assign Bunting to Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- Blue Jackets Recall Forward Kole Sherwood from Monsters - Cleveland Monsters
- Forney Reassigned to Tulsa - San Diego Gulls
- Dallas Stars Reassign Right Wing Denis Gurianov - Texas Stars
- Marlies Set for Friday Night Tilt in Providence - Toronto Marlies
- Thunderbirds to Welcome Two-Time New England Patriots Super Bowl Champion Trey Flowers on March 2nd - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Sound Tigers Gear up for Three-Game Weekend - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Game Day Build-Up: Senators vs. Monsters, February 15 - Belleville Senators
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 to Continue Affiliation with Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Charlotte Checkers Announce Affiliation with NHL's Florida Panthers
- 'Canes Agree to Terms with David and Jason Cotton
- Lorentz Leads Checkers to OT Win against Cleveland
- Checkers Clamp Down Cleveland in 2-1 Win