The Checkers kicked off their California swing on a high note Friday night, downing the Barracuda 5-3.

Lucas Carlsson and Jonah Gadjovich were the heavy hitters for Charlotte across the contest, each accounting for a pair of goals while Carlsson also tacked on a helper for good measure. On the other side of the ice, Spencer Knight turned in a season-best 35 stops to keep San Jose at bay. It was a back-and-forth affair for the first half of the tilt. San Jose broke the ice early in the opening frame before Carlsson lit the lamp to even the score, then the Barracuda jumped ahead once again with another early tally to start the second.

Charlotte’s response to that second deficit would be a knockout blow, however, coming in the form of three goals across a stretch of less than four minutes. Ryan McAllister kept his scoring touch alive with a seeing-eye snipe shortly after the Barracuda went ahead, Gadjovich tipped in a Carlsson blast to claim the visitor’s first lead of the night and then Carlsson hammered home a shot of his own from the slot to blow things wide open.

San Jose would continue to battle back, narrowing Charlotte’s advantage to one goal before the second buzzer sounded, but the Checkers wouldn’t budge in the third. Gadjovich snuffed out the Barracuda’s comeback hopes with a dagger in the third, and the Checkers would emerge from their first visit to San Jose in eight years with a decisive victory.


Head Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
“Coming off tough travel, so we weren’t as connected as I’d like to be. I thought it was a bit of a track meet, which I’m not a fan of, but I thought we settled down in the third period and played more to our identity.”

Kinnear on what Jonah Gadjovich brought to the lineup
“He hasn’t played in a while but he brings experience and a positive attitude. I thought he was great on the bench. Obviously scored a big goal there. He’s finding his legs and we’re glad to have him through this trip.”

Kinnear on whether anything Lucas Carlsson does offensively surprises him anymore
“I get asked every single day and I always have the same answer - nope. When you love the game as much as he does and you work that hard, you’re going to be rewarded and he’s always rewarded. He’s a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to have on my team.”

Gadjovich on playing his first game of the season
“It felt great, obviously a little rusty first few shifts but I thought I got better as the game went on. All the guys were great and it was a fun win.”

Gadjovich on his second goal
“I broke my stick on the rush in, so I went back to the bench and [equipment manager] Chris [Fournier] had a stick for me. I went back in and drifted into the slot and Dalps made a nice play. It worked out for us.”

Gadjovich on the key to getting another two points on Sunday
“Just playing hard and sticking to the game plan. Not being too complicated with the puck and playing the right way.”


The Checkers have won five straight games … Lucas Carlsson’s 11 shots on goal were the most in a game by a defenseman in franchise history and the third highest shot toal in franchise history overall … Tonight was the first meeting between the Checkers and Barracuda since Dec. 2015 … The Checkers are 3-1-0-1 all time against San Jose … Jonah Gadjovich made his Checkers debut and scored two goals … Mike Benning and Zac Dalpe have points in back-to-back games … Ryan McAllister has goals in three straight games … Spencer Knight has wins in each of his last three starts … Knight’s 35 saves were a season high … Riley Bezeau, Skyler Brind’Amour, Mark Senden, Evan Nause, Matt Kiersted and Mack Guzda were the scratches for Charlotte