The Checkers kept their foot on the gas in their rematch with Hartford, blanking the Wolf Pack 4-0 to pick up a crucial midweek sweep.

A goalless first frame had things looking like a repeat of the previous night’s low-scoring affair, but the Checkers broke out in a big way during the second. Will Lockwood pulled off a slick redirection for a power-play strike early on, then Wilmer Skoog chipped in one of his own minutes later to double that lead.

The Checkers continued their domination of the middle frame - despite the shots being even at 12 apiece for the period - as Patrick Giles finished off a feed from Jamieson Rees on an odd-man rush to keep his hot hand ablaze and extend the lead even further.

The Wolf Pack had no answer for the Checkers, as the home side continued to through waves of pressure at the visitors. Mackie Samoskevich capped off a beautiful passing play on the man advantage in the third - Charlotte’s second conversion on seven chances throughout the night - and that would be the final nail in Hartford’s coffin.

The Checkers stymied Hartford’s attack throughout the night - holding the visitors to just 20 shots - and Spencer Knight turned aside anything that did make it through. The netminder came up big for Charlotte, especially helping to smother all three of Hartford’s power-play opportunities, and earned his third shutout of the season while guiding the Checkers to a huge victory.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
What I did like is that we learned some lessons along the way. I thought we started well and got some timely goals in the second. We kind of got away from it a little bit in the second but then regained it and had a really good third period.

Kinnear on Patrick Giles’ increased scoring
One, you have to get an opportunity in the league, which he did as a college free agent. He came in and had some impact right away. Then last year he found a role a little bit and didn’t score as much, but I was I was with him in Florida during that playoff run and every day he worked on his shot. The thing I like is that he hasn’t lost what he’s supposed to be, and then he added that. When you work on something, you have ownership in your own game and self leadership to work on it, you’re going to be rewarded for it. There’s a perfect example.

Kinnear on limiting Hartford’s chances
I think it was just five guys working together. Obviously Knighter was good too – we gave up a breakaway where he had to come up big. They had a good push in the first. The shots were a little lopsided but I thought it was very even in the first period. I thought the timely goals in the second allowed us to get rolling.

Kinnear on the power play working well tonight
Just confidence moving the puck and quick puck movement. Obviously McAllister being in the lineup is going to bring that and he made a great play there. That’s what you need from the power play in the third period. The team takes a penalty when the game could go either way a little bit, the power-play goal was big.

Spencer Knight on the feeling in the room
I think everyone’s just glad that we really worked hard and stuck to our game. I really do believe that we’ve been doing a lot of good things throughout the year, and sometimes the results don’t come but they eventually will. You’ve just got to stick with it.

Knight on his recent personal success
Honestly there’s nothing different than what I was doing at any point this year. There have been plenty of games this year where I’ve given up four goals and I think I played better than I did today. Sometimes that’s the way people look at it that they just want to see shutouts or low goals against, but in reality I think there’s a lot of times where you can do the right thing and might not get the results. People might not see that. I pride myself on coming to the rink and doing what I can and the results are the results. I can’t really control them sometimes.

Patrick Giles on the feeling in the locker room
It’s great. Those were huge for playoff implications, and we knew that going into it. Coming off a sweep with two big games coming next weekend, we’re feeling pretty good.

Giles on getting this sweep this time after missing a chance to sweep Hershey last weekend
Hershey is obviously a really good team and we usually play them pretty tight, and getting the first win is huge but we’ve got to start to close out those second games like Geordie talked about. We’ll keep working on that down the stretch.

Giles on his increased scoring
I think we’re all just gelling together and finding more chemistry as the season goes on. You play with a lot of different guys and we’re all kind of finding our spot right now.


The Checkers improved to 9-2-2 in their last 13 games … Knight recorded his third shutout of the season and sixth in just 51 career AHL games. He has won six of his last seven games … Giles has three goals in his last three games, matching his total from 72 games last season. His four-game point streak (3g, 1a) is a career long … Samoskevich has also scored in three straight games … Will Lockwood had four points (3g, 1a) in four games since coming back from the NHL … Jamieson Rees recorded his first point as a Checker on Giles’ goal … Prior to going 2-for-7 tonight, the Checkers were 0-for-18 on the power play over their previous six games … The Checkers are 4-0-0 against Hartford this season. The teams will play four more times over the last month of the regular season … Over the last five seasons, the Checkers are 18-4-2 against the Wolf Pack … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau, Skyler Brind’Amour, Brendan Perlini and Justin Sourdif; defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Dennis Cesana; and goaltender Mack Guzda.