TThe Checkers looked to be in trouble in their first visit to Cleveland of the season, but a stunning third-period rally set the stage for some overtime heroics by Mackie Samoskevich and a thrilling 4-3 win by Charlotte.
Down 3-0 to the North Division’s top team with 20 minutes to play, the Checkers weren’t quite ready to roll over. Skyler Brind’Amour opened the frame with a top-shelf tuck from in close - breaking Cleveland’s shutout bid and sparking the visitors. Cam Morrison, who set up Brind’Amour’s tally, potted one of his own minutes later by sticking with a loose puck out front to narrow the deficit even more, then Wilmer Skoog brought things all the way even with a quick rip from the top of the circle.
With the momentum swinging heartily to Charlotte’s side, the contest moved beyond regulation and into overtime. The two sides traded chances until Samoskevich stepped up and took over. The rookie swooped into the zone, put a shot on net and when that attempt wound up sitting in front of the crease he circled the net and buried the loose puck to complete Charlotte’s incredible comeback.
Tonight’s win snapped a two-game losing skid for Charlotte … The Checkers are now 20-1-1-0 this season when scoring at least three goals … The Checkers are 6-4 in overtime this season, tied for the second-most OT wins in the AHL … The Checkers are 1-2-0-0 against the Monsters this season … Tonight was Evan Cormier’s second start of the season and his first since Nov. 25 … Cormier earned his first AHL win since April 15 of last season … After scoring one goal in his first 38 games, Brind’Amour has two goals in his last three games … Santtu Kinnunen’s assist on Morrison’s goal was his first helper since Nov. 20 … Tonight was Morrison’s first multi-point game of the season … Skoog has goals in back-to-back games … This was Samoskevich’s second game-winning goal as a pro and his first overtime winner … That was Charlotte’s third win this season when trailing through two periods of play … Lucas Carlsson has points in four straight games … Gerry Mayhew, Riley Bezeau, Jake Wise, Dennis Cesana, Calle Sjalin, Mack Guzda and Ludovic Waeber were the scratches for Charlotte