Lohin, Bowlby score as Checkers fall to Thunderbirds
CHARLOTTE, NC - A tightly contested battle slipped away from the Checkers in the end on Tuesday, as they fell to the Thunderbirds 4-2.
The Checkers flipped the script for their previous few games and opened the scoring tonight, with Ryan Lohin knocking home a loose puck on the doorstep. That lead would hold until late in the middle frame when the Thunderbirds finally broke through, but the home side quickly reclaimed it with a Henry Bowlby strike early on in the third.
That advantage would be short-lived, however, as Springfield deadlocked things once again just a minute later. Both sides would trade chances down the stretch from there, but a man advantage midway through set up the Thunderbirds to jump back ahead for the first time all night.
The Checkers' earned a power play of their own in the waning minutes of regulation but couldn't quite find the equalizer, and an empty netter cemented their 4-2 defeat.
Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game "I liked a lot of stuff about our game. I liked it a lot better than I liked the last game on Sunday. Kind of the turning point was when we were up 1-0, had them hemmed in for quite a long time, and then gave up that 2-on-1. They gained a little momentum after that. We scored a big goal in the (third) but then we gave it right back on a breakdown. A lot to learn, but I'm proud of the guys that came up and it was their first time playing for us. They stepped in and did a good job for us."
Kinnear on the back-and-forth nature of the game "At the end of the second period especially, we turned over pucks, they got momentum a little bit and we kind of stopped skating and watched a little bit. They started to take it to us. I thought we gained it back a little bit in the third but we couldn't finish."
Kinnear on Ryan Lohin's goal "Ryan is a goal scorer. He's scored at the ECHL level and he's starting to feel more comfortable here. That's where we like - to score those playoff type of goals. We had looks in front and I thought their goalie came up with some key saves. Again, at 2-1, we've got to make sure we finish."
After hosting just 449 fans during Sunday's snowstorm, the Checkers welcomed a sellout crowd of 8,309 for their annual 1950s Night promotion ... The Checkers have lost two straight in regulation for the first time since Nov. 27-28 ... Kole Lind, Connor Carrick and Cale Fleury all had one assist to extend their point streaks to three games ... Forward Craig Martin made his AHL debut for Charlotte ... Forward Spencer Asuchak made his Checkers debut ... Forwards Grigori Denisenko and Luke Henman, defensemen Max Gildon, John Ludvig and Gustav Olofsson and goaltender Christopher Gibson missed the game due to injury ... Defenseman Bobby Russell was a healthy extra.
The Checkers and Thunderbirds square off once again Thursday night.
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