The Checkers capped off the weekend with another stomping of Hartford, this time to the tune of a 4-1 win.

Everything was coming up Charlotte in the rematch, starting with Mitch Vande Sompel threading a point shot home to open the scoring early. Wilmer Skoog pounced on a loose puck and buried a shot to double the lead in the middle frame, then Will Lockwood deposited a shot top shelf minutes later to pile on.

While not quite up to yesterday’s standard, there was plenty of animosity between the two sides that boiled over into several skirmishes and 10 total power plays. The Checkers stuck to their game, though, and a quick snipe from Mackie Samoskevich set the home side on track to coast to a victory.

Spencer Knight was stellar between the pipes, finishing the night with 25 stops and playing over 59 minutes of scoreless hockey until Hartford finally pushed the puck over the line with four seconds remaining. Even so, the netminder kept his red-hot streak alive and guiding the Checkers to a crucial victory.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on what’s helping the team on this hot streak
I think the chemistry. The guys have really bought in to how we play as a group, and I think everyone has maximized their own skillset, which collectively helps us as a team.

Kinnear on if the team is peaking at the right time
It’s important to peak, one, and then the right time is the next part. We’re just taking it one day at a time. This group has been unbelievable, each and every day trying to get better. When you do that and you focus on every moment that you’re in, whether it’s practice or a workout and just continue to get better, good things usually happen, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Kinnear on Dalpe getting into a fight
The game got chippy a little bit and I thought they took some liberties a little bit, so Dalps stood up for the whole group. It sends a message, and it’s part of what makes him great. Not only can you score goals, you can also do that stuff. For me it’s about the whole team coming together and playing for the guy beside you, and I think that’s when you have something special.

Zac Dalpe on his fight
That guy in particular was kind of taking liberties on one of our young skilled forwards, and I guess it’s just the environment that we create here to stick up for each other. You don’t have to be the toughest guy, but just let the team know that if you’re taking liberties, something is probably going to happen. Kudos to him for stepping up, because he knew we probably had to do something. Throw a couple of punches, slip on a banana peel, and the fight’s over.

Dalpe on the team’s hot streak
I didn’t know the numbers, but obviously there’s been a lot more wins than losses. I think it’s a good time of the year to kind of come in as your identity. A young group this year and it maybe took a little bit longer to find it, but if you’re playing like this at the end of March and start of April, I’ll take that for sure.

Mackie Samoskevich on the feeling in the room
It feels great. It’s just something we’ve been working towards all year. When we don’t have it we learn from it, and when we do have it we just keep going. We’ve just got to keep it going and keep learning from these games so we can carry it into playoffs. That’s the goal.

Samoskevich on the best part of the team’s run
I think just how close we are in there. I think it translates onto the ice and how tight we are as a group. There’s no cliques or anything – we’re just one big family. I think it shows out there for sure.

Samoskevich on Dalpe stepping up for the team tonight
It’s amazing. Even away from tonight, just coming in last year and seeing it right away. He takes control of the locker room. He’s such a great person and a good family man, and we love having him as a captain. I’ve learned so much from him and he’s such a good role model for me and the other young guys. To see him do stuff like that shows how much he cares and how good of a leader he is.


The Checkers are now 7-0-0 against Hartford this season and 21-4-2 over the last five seasons … The Checkers have allowed three goals in their last five games and five in their last seven … Knight is 5-0-1 with a 0.83 goals-against average and .965 save percentage since March 13 … The Checkers are 16-3-3 since Feb. 9 and are third in the Atlantic Division. The Wolf Pack are 1-10-3 in their last 14 games overall and have dropped to fifth … Mackie Samoskevich scored his 20th goal of the season, tying him for sixth among AHL rookies. It is the highest total by a Checkers rookie since 2017-18 (Warren Foegele, 28, and Aleksi Saarela, 25) … Rasmus Asplund has 11 points (1g, 10a) in his last 11 games … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau, Riese Gaber, Cam Morrison, Brendan Perlini, Gracyn Sawchyn, Ben Steeves and Kai Schwindt; defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Dennis Cesana; and goaltenders Cooper Black and Mack Guzda.