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.