The Checkers put up a fight Saturday night against the Thunderbirds - battling back to secure a point in the standings - but Springfield ultimately came out on top in overtime.

Offensive fireworks took a back seat to some tight defensive play and stellar goaltending from both sides. The first tally of the night came via a power-play conversion by Springfield early in the second, then that goal stood alone until the final minutes of regulation.

With their goalie pulled for an extra attacker, the Checkers finally broke through with under three to play, with Mackie Samoskevich pulling the puck through traffic and feeding a sinking Lucas Carlsson for a clutch one-timer to send the contest to overtime.

The extra frame featured a handful of chances for the home side, but the Thunderbirds found the back of the net first to claim the extra point.

In his third start for Charlotte, Evan Cormier shined and put the Checkers in a position to earn that standings point - finishing the night with 23 saves on 25 shots.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
It felt like at the start we were OK and the energy just wasn’t there yet. I thought the second half of the second period, that 10 minutes, that we found our game and got to it pretty good. The third period I thought was a real good period. Obviously a big goal to tie it, and overtime it’s three-on-three with chances at both ends and they ended up scoring on theirs. Overall a good team effort. I still think there’s more there from the group, but a good starting point for the weekend.

Kinnear on the tying goal
We scored a goal like that against San Diego here late in the game, so they were familiar with it and the same guy made the play, Samo. We want to play a certain way and sometimes you’ve got to wait until the last two minutes to be able to score those. It would be nice to get the victory, but move on.

Kinnear on Evan Cormier
I thought he did his job and I thought it was a good job by everybody. I’m to the point now where I want to talk about the group. Corms did his job, but we need everybody going and it didn’t feel like we had everybody going tonight.


The Checkers have points in three straight games (2-0-1) … Carlsson had points in six straight (2g, 4a), marking his longest streak of the season … Samoskevich has points in three straight (1g, 3a) … The Checkers are 6-5 in games decided during the three-on-three overtime. They have gone to a shootout just once … Charlotte is 0-2-1 against Springfield this season and 1-5-3 over the last two seasons … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau, Brendan Perlini and Jake Wise; defensemen Dennis Cesana and Calle Sjalin; and goaltenders Mack Guzda and Ludovic Waeber.