Charlotte and Lehigh Valley locked into another wild matchup Sunday afternoon, with the Checkers exacting revenge with a 6-3 barn-burning win.

It was a back-and-forth affair to start - the Checkers built up a two-goal lead in the first thanks to a pair of strikes just 33 seconds apart, but the Phantoms erased that deficit with tallies to close the first frame and open the second.

With a deadlocked score early in the middle frame, the Checkers tilted things their way and never looked back. Lucas Carlsson sparked his squad with a snipe from the side boards, then Gerry Mayhew pushed Charlotte further ahead by racking up his second goal and fourth point of the night.

The Phantoms punched back shortly after Mayhew’s strike, but the Checkers kept things steady. Cam Morrison potted a buzzer beater to reestablish the two-goal lead before the second intermission, then struck again early in the third to double up the Phantoms. Lehigh Valley had no answer for the Checkers down the stretch - registering just a single shot in the final frame - and Charlotte coasted to a lopsided win, collecting three of a possible four points on the weekend in the process.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
We played 60 minutes. We talked yesterday that it was a good hockey game and we ended up losing, both teams were physical, playoff style and we ended up losing in overtime, but we came out today wanting to play our game for 60 minutes and get better on special teams. I think we accomplished both and we feel good about ourselves, but it’s still a lot of work ahead of us.

Kinnear on a recent offensive breakthrough
Just playing to our identity. Confidence is a wonderful thing, and you only gain confidence by working hard and then having results. When you work hard and get results, that’s confidence. The guys had worked hard and hadn’t got the results, now they’ve worked hard and they’re getting in the back of the net and now you have confidence. Keep doing the right things.

Kinnear on the team starting to pick up momentum
You’re starting to see some chemistry. That’s important when you can trust the guy to your left and to your right. It just helps out. I was happy with four lines tonight. A solid 60.

Kinnear on if he views his team as a contender
We still have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re in an extremely tough division. We’ve just seen that hockey team and now we’ve got Hartford on Wednesday. We’re just focused on getting better and getting guys to play the right way, which tonight we can build off of.

Gerry Mayhew on the game
I thought we played well last night but a couple of mishaps and they put it in the back of the net. I thought we played great tonight and last night, so I’m happy with it.

Mayhew on bouncing back from last night’s game
Last night was a heartbreaker but we came back ready to play tonight. When we do the right things, good things happen for us. We have a big week coming here going to Hartford and then Wilkes, so hopefully we can continue through this.

Mayhew on if pressure is building down the stretch
I wouldn’t say there’s much pressure. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be fine. Once playoffs roll around it’s a different ballgame, and I think we have the team to win it here.

Lucas Carlsson on the feeling in the room
It’s great. We all know how the standings look. It’s tight, so it’s a huge two points.

Carlsson on the offensive breakthrough
The power play is working, for one, and then we have so much skill on this team. We know every line can score and I think we showed that tonight.


The Checkers have points in six consecutive games (4-0-2). They also have points in six straight against Lehigh Valley (3-0-3) … The Checkers have scored at least five goals in three consecutive games … The Checkers allowed just 13 shots, their lowest total of the season … After a stretch in which he scored just one point in 12 games, Mayhew has six points (4g, 3a) in his last games. His four points are the most by a Checker this season and tie his career high set twice during his 2019-20 MVP season … Carlsson has points in nine straight games (3g, 7a), marking a new career high and extending the longest active streak in the league … This was Morrison’s second career multi-goal game … Ryan McAllister has five points in his last five games (2g, 3a) … Alexander True (1g, 3a), Uvis Balinskis (3a) and Casey Fitzgerald (3a) all have three-game point streaks … The Checkers are 5-for-18 on the power play over their last three games (27.8 percent) … Checkers scratches included forwards Skyler Brind’Amour, Zac Dalpe and Brendan Perlini; defensemen Dennis Cesana and Calle Sjalin; and goaltenders Mack Guzda and Ludovic Waeber.