Charlotte and Lehigh Valley locked up for a tight midweek tilt Wednesday, but a late surge from the Phantoms ultimately pushed them over the Checkers 3-2 in overtime.

There were fireworks early, as the Phantoms broke the ice 58 seconds into regulation only to watch Mackie Samoskevich pounce on a turnover and bury it to even the score just nine seconds after that.

The next 18-plus minutes were significantly less eventful and produced nothing on the scoreboard for either side, but the Checkers made a splash to start the next period as well. Justin Sourdif battled through a defender in the neutral zone to collect a long-distance pass from Mike Benning and swooped into the Lehigh Valley zone - picking a corner on Phantoms netminder Felix Sandstrom to lift the visitors to their first lead of the night.

Once again things settled down from there, and the score would remain stagnant until the final five minutes of regulation. Awarded a power-play in the waning minutes of action, the Phantoms converted to knot the score, and when the Checkers couldn’t come through on a man advantage of their own even later in the contest, things headed to overtime.

The extra frame saw possession go back and forth between the two sides, but it was the Phantoms who broke through - finding the back of the net to claim the extra standings point.


Tonight was Charlotte’s fourth game to end in overtime this season and their first loss … The Checkers finished their four-game road trip with a 2-1-1-0 mark, collecting five of a possible eight points in the standings … The Checkers are 0-1-1-0 against the Phantoms this season and will play them three more times this month … The Checkers have earned a point in the standings in five of their last six road games … Mackie Samoskevich has goals in back-to-back games and seven points in his last seven games … Mike Benning’s assist was his first point since Nov. 10 … The Checkers were scoreless on the power play for the third straight game and are now 1-for-27 on the man advantage over the last seven games … Tonight was the first time the Checkers have been outshot since Oct. 25 … Tonight was the first time the Checkers have had the same starting goalie in back-to-back games since Nov. 20 and 22 … Jake Wise, Zac Dalpe, Brendan Perlini, Will Reilly, Evan Nause, Dennis Cesana, Mack Guzda were the scratches for Charlotte