Lehigh Valley pushed hard in the middle frame - outshooting the Checkers 17-6 - and finally broke through once again in the final minute, striking on the man advantage to pull things even heading into the final 20 of regulation.
Neither side would budge in the third, and the game would proceed on to overtime. The extra frame saw the Checkers threaten - most notably a quick shot from Justin Sourdif that rang off the crossbar - but it was the Phantoms who found the back of the net on a rush to pull out the win.
Khodo gets us going! pic.twitter.com/WOM6oir3dA— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) December 22, 2023
QUOTESCoach Geordie Kinnear on his team’s effort
Gutsy. We lost Truesy (Alexander True) there, and it was an opportunity for a lot of players there, but losing Truesy hurt. I thought it was a gutsy effort by the whole group to be honest.
Kinnear on defenseman Dennis Cesana playing forward in in this game
Dennis is just a total team guy. Always has been, always will be. He’s team first, and he played forward for us last year on a road swing. He’s got the composure, he’s got the swagger and he gave us great minutes today.
Kinnear on his team’s power play
We didn’t get any chances. That would be a problem. I think you just have to take what’s given and give them credit. The ice wasn’t very good either but that’s where you’ve got to simplify. Definitely something that we have to correct.
Kinnear on tomorrow’s rematch
We’ve got to check the health of everybody first and foremost, but we did well tonight. We were a gutsy group and took it to overtime. I’d like to finish it off there, but we didn’t. Move forward. One more game before break and you want to play well so you can go home to your family and enjoy your family, because it’s a long season and it’s important you get the time off to be with the ones that you’ve missed a little bit while making the sacrifices for what we do here. Looking forward to that, but we want to make sure we play well tomorrow.