After falling behind by two goals early in the second period, the Checkers got back within one and maintained pressure down the stretch, but ultimately dropped their second straight game to Cleveland by a 5-2 score on Thanksgiving Eve.

Forward Emil Bemstrom had four points and goaltender Jet Greaves made 39 saves to lead the Monsters to the victory. Veterans Alexander True and Gerry Mayhew had the goals for Charlotte, which carried a five-game home win streak into this less-successful set against the Monsters.

After a scoreless first, Cleveland pulled away for good with two goals in the first 3:40 of the second period. True got an important goal four minutes later, his first of the season, to give his team life, only to see Bemstrom, who had primary assists on each of the first two goals, answer back.

Mayhew struck before the second period had ended, setting up a third period in which the Checkers did everything but score after piling up pressure on the Monsters. They were ultimately unable to capitalize on those chances, eventually giving way to an insurance goal with less than three minutes to play and an empty-netter to seal the victory.

Charlotte, which had only returned from California over the weekend, continues its stretch of four home games in six days as it welcomes the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins for back-to-back games on the other side of Thanksgiving.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on this game compared to last
Again, an honest effort. I think you can look at the last game, I really wanted to get that one because I thought we had enough chances to win that hockey game. I knew they would be better and we still need to be better in certain areas. I thought our compete level to try and score some goals was a lot higher, so I was happy with that. You move on. I thought we saw some growth in certain areas that we wanted to see some growth in, and obviously we want to clean up some other stuff. It’s where we’re at in the season, our mindset does not change, win or lose. We want to just continue to get better.

Kinnear on chances in this game
We had enough chances to win. It’s got to be part of our identity. The shot totals need to be up there because that means we’re playing the right way, and then limit the shots against. We had enough chances to win, but I don’t like giving up that many goals.

Kinnear on the start of the second period
Our second periods the last little while have been outstanding. You don’t want to give up one there that early in the second period because then we’re chasing a little bit. But we never went away. Sourdif had a shorthanded breakaway to tie it up, they come down and they execute and some of their skill guys put it in the back of the net. Some of their skill guys beat us these last two games.

Kinnear on Alexander True getting his first goal
We have some guys – I don’t want to say they’re snakebitten, but haven’t executed at that high level yet. We’re slowly getting there, and Truesy is one of those guys, but for Truesy it’s the 200-foot production for me. It’s not just about points for players, it’s how you play and doing it the right way. Goals will come as a byproduct of that. Truesy logs a lot of important minutes and he gives us 200-foot production which is what I ask of him.

Kinnear on navigating the next few days
Be thankful for Thanksgiving tomorrow, because we have a lot to be thankful for. We’ll have a little skate or a meeting tomorrow, we’re not sure yet, but then we’ll get better on Friday.


The Checkers out-shot Cleveland 41-39 … Captain Zac Dalpe assisted on Mayhew’s goal for his 400th professional point. Most of those (213) came with Charlotte and the second-most came with Cleveland (111) … Evan Nause recorded his first professional point with an assist on the same goal … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau, Cam Morrison, Mark Senden and Jake Wise; defensemen Matt Kiersted and Calle Sjalin; and goaltenders Mack Guzda and Spencer Knight.