One night after suffering a shutout at the hands of the red-hot Rochester Americans, the Checkers used a strong start to pick up a 3-1 win and end their road trip on a high note.

Julien Gauthier and Morgan Geekie scored power-play goals in the opening frame and the Checkers never looked back as they handed Rochester its first regulation loss since Oct. 30, ending the team’s 12-game point streak (10-0-2). Anton Forsberg made 32 saves to defeat the Americans, who had gone two full games without allowing a goal prior to the Checkers’ first-period onslaught tonight.

Having won two of three on their road trip, the Checkers now head home to prepare for a six-game home stand that starts Friday and heads right into the holiday break.

Charlotte drew first blood in this game when Gauthier streaked down the right wing, beat a defender and roofed a shot under the crossbar just 7:27 into the contest. Geekie would add to that when Forsberg sent a long pass to the opposite blue line, which Roland McKeown quickly collected and sent forward to Geekie for a cool forehand-to-backhand finish on the breakaway.

After Jean-Sebastien Dea got one back for the visitors near the end of the second to make things interesting, the Checkers held on until Max McCormick deposited an empty-net goal to seal the victory for Charlotte.

NOTES

Forsberg earned his second assist of the season … Geekie’s goal was his first since Nov. 15 (10 games) … Gauthier has three goals in his last three games … The Checkers scored multiple power-play goals for the fifth time this season and second in their last three games … Geekie and McKeown are now tied for second on the team in scoring, just one point behind Jake Bean, who missed the game due to personal reasons … Forwards Cedric Lacroix, Stelio Mattheos and Kerby Rychel missed the game due to injury.

UP NEXT

The Checkers begin their home stand with back-to-back games against the Syracuse Crunch starting this Friday at 7 p.m.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.