The Checkers’ luck ran out on St. Patrick’s Day, as they fell to Springfield 6-4 to wrap up a long home stand.

The wild contest was tilted Charlotte’s way when regulation hit its midway point. After trading blows on the way to a 2-2 score, the red-hot duo of Wilmer Skoog and Gerry Mayhew each lit the lamp in the middle frame to claim a 4-2 lead for the home side.

Less than two minutes after the Checkers established that two-goal advantage, a pass from the corner of their own defensive zone careened off the skate of a Charlotte defender and into their own net - a goal that not only pulled the Thunderbirds within one, but seemed to spark the visitors.

The Thunderbirds converted on man advantages to end the second period and start the third - giving them a 3-for-6 success rate at that point of the game - to blow things open, then tacked on one more to leave the Checkers behind and put an end to Charlotte’s winning streak.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
Six goals against is not going to win. The kind of play kind of went in their favor. Elite goal scorers scored a bunch of big goals for them, and then all the power plays. We took too many penalties, then you’re kind of chasing it all over the place and don’t really get in a rhythm on the five-on-five. I’m proud of the guys’ effort, it’s been a lot of hockey this past week. Four games in six days, so it’s been a tough stretch but I’m proud of the group. The energy wasn’t always there, and sometimes when you don’t have the energy you lose mental focus and you start checking with your stick a little bit more and take more penalties. A good lesson for us. Move on, get some rest and have a good week.

Kinnear on Springfield’s power-play success
They have elite guys. We talked about getting the clears down the ice and making sure it’s not in the zone, but any time you take that many penalties, skill guys are going to make plays. The key is not to take penalties.

Kinnear on Wilmer Skoog
To be honest, I talk to the whole group all the time. At the start of the year, from development camp to rookie tournament, all that stuff, is respect the process. There’s a kid that’s respected the process. He was here at the start of the year, it didn’t go his way, he went down and worked on his game in the East Coast League, came up and has made the most of his opportunity. He continues to grow each game and he’s playing with some pretty good players, which helps. For me, we’ve moved on from being individuals and it’s all about the team now, but he’s done a great job.

Kinnear on generating offense late
I thought we got away from shooting the puck a little bit. Again, you have to be able to get on the inside, but you have to give the other team some credit. I thought their goalie played very well and they blocked some shots. Again, you’re not going to win every hockey game and you’re not going to be perfect. We weren’t perfect tonight, and you learn from it and you move on.


This was just the Checkers’ third regulation loss in their last 15 games … Asplund extended his point streak to five games (1g, 5a). He recorded the second shorthanded goal of his AHL career and the Checkers’ fourth of the season … Skoog has five points (4g, 1a) over a three-game point streak. He is now tied for second on the team with 15 goals despite playing in just 37 of the team’s 60 games … Uvis Balinskis has assists and points in three straight games (3a) … Mayhew scored for the seconds consecutive game and points in three straight (2g, 1a) ...After an 0-for-18 stretch on the power play spanning six games, the Checkers are 4-for-16 in their last three with a goal in each game … Three power-play goals allowed is a season high for Charlotte … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau, Patrick Giles and Brendan Perlini; defensemen Lucas Carlsson, Dennis Cesana and Andy Welinski; and goaltender Mack Guzda.