The Checkers saw their hot streak come to an end Wednesday night, coming up short in a 5-3 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
After an early opening goal from the Pens, the Checkers took control of the game with a burst of their own late in the frame. Connor Bunnaman swooped into the zone on a penalty kill and buried a shorthanded tally to tie things up with under four minutes to go in the first, then Henry Bowlby turned on the jets for a slick goal just inside the buzzer to send the visitors into the locker room on top.
The Checkers couldn’t keep that momentum rolling, however, and things turned the Penguins’ way from there. A pair of strikes in the back half of the second helped regain the lead for the home side, then Alex Nylander lit the lamp early in the third to extend that advantage.
Santtu Kinnunen would pull the Checkers back within striking distance with a broken-stick blast from the point that careened in, but Charlotte couldn’t quite find the equalizer down the stretch. A late empty netter squashed their comeback hopes and the Checkers skated off to a 5-3 defeat.
Tonight’s loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Checkers, tied for their longest of the season … The Checkers are now 1-2-0-0 against the Penguins this season … The Checkers scored their sixth shorthanded goal of the season - tied for the second-most in the AHL … Aleksi Heponiemi extended his point streak to five games, the longest such streak by a Checker this season … Santtu Kinnunen has points in two straight games … Grigori Denisenko logged his first career fight as a North American pro … Zach Uens, Logan Hutsko, Justin Sourdif, Riley Nash, Tag Bertuzzi, Serron Noel and J-F Berube were the scratches