The Checkers broke out of their home-ice slump in decisive fashion on Friday, blanking Bridgeport 3-0.

Making his third start in a row, Spencer Knight stole the show between the pipes. The netminder turned aside all 23 shots Bridgeport threw his way and helped power a Charlotte penalty kill that was flawless on five shorthanded situations.

After churning out several early chances, the Checkers’ offensive attack broke through with a burst late in the first. Ryan McAllister kicked things off by hammering a one-time feed from the corner courtesy of Mackie Samoskevich, then Cam Morrison hopped out of the penalty box and onto the scoresheet minutes later with a quick shot from the slot that beat the Bridgeport netminder and doubled the home team’s lead.

Charlotte’s stranglehold on the lead never wavered from there, and a breakaway conversion from Patrick Giles in the final few minutes of play sealed the deal on the Checkers’ big win.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
I thought it was a real good start. You look at our schedule, again, coming home after a three-in-three and (a game) on Wednesday with all kinds of travel, speaks a lot to the group that came out tonight, especially in the first period. I thought they had a real good start and were determined to win the hockey game.

Kinnear on the fast start
You look the last little while, we’ve been chasing it a little bit at times and we don’t want to chase it, especially early in a game but I thought the whole group, the lineup changed a little bit and there was an opportunity for some younger guys to move up the lineup and get more quality time on ice, and I thought everyone showed up to play. In the second period we got lost a little bit with all the power plays, but I thought they regained in the third and times and got back to work. Overall a good win, but move on, take the lessons from tonight and climb into tomorrow.

Kinnear on the penalty kill
Our penalty kill has been good all year. It’s definitely been a strength, but we don’t want to get into that situation. I’m not sure of all the calls, five in a row and then five on threes, but a resilient group. We held our composure and didn’t get rattled and just forged ahead. I thought the guys did a great job, including the goaltender.

Kinnear on Spencer Knight
It’s the whole group. He’s part of the group, but when you stick together as a team and you play for one another, good things happen. The team has done a great job and Knighter is growing his game like all the guys are. You’ve got to get starts, you’ve got to be in there, you’ve got to practice hard and then you get rewarded for it.

Kinnear on injuries to Zac Dalpe and Brendan Perlini
Hopefully not long term but we’re just going to take it day by day. The guys that came in and filled in for those guys did a great job tonight.

Spencer Knight on the game
It’s good to win. It’s one of those things. Each game comes and goes and this is one of them too. We’ve had a couple of games where we wanted to get a win and didn’t, but you just let it sit for a little bit and move on to the next one. Same thing with this. Just move on to the next one.

Knight on getting a run of starts
Whether I’m playing once a week or twice or three times a week, it’s just bring what you can to the table. Not every game is going to be the same so you just have to feel it out and work as hard as you can.

Knight on killing several penalties in the second period
Geordie was talking about composure, and we were just trying to stay composed. It’s one of those things where we have to just battle and stay tight.


The Checkers improved to 3-1-1 in their last five games … Knight has five shutouts in 26 career AHL games. He has two shutouts this season, both at home against Bridgeport … Bridgeport is now 1-11-0 on the road this season … Mackie Samoskevich has five points (3g, 2a) over a four-game point streak … Checkers scratches included forwards Zac Dalpe and Brendan Perlini; defensemen Uvis Balinskis, Evan Nause, Will Reilly and Calle Sjalin; and goaltender Mack Guzda.