The Checkers kept their foot on the gas in their second contest of the weekend, throttling the Syracuse Crunch 6-1 behind a hat trick from Scott Wilson and a stellar outing from Spencer Knight.

Wilson kicked things off in the first by wiring a quick wrister from the slot into the back of the net, then doubled the visitors’ lead by turning a smooth defensive takeaway into another tally midway through the second. The veteran forward capped off his hat trick in the third period, hammering home a slick passing play to tack one more goal onto the lopsided scoreboard.

Wilson’s second-period strike was a shot in the arm for the Charlotte offense, as Henry Bowlby quickly added another goal with a redirect from out front and Aleksi Heponiemi broke through on a power-play breakaway to further extend the visitors’ lead minutes later. The Crunch would eventually find the back of the net late in the middle frame, but a Max McCormick tally in the early stages of the third shut down any sort of rally attempt by the Crunch.

In his second game with Charlotte, Knight turned in a gem between the pipes. The 20-year-old netminder stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced - including 15 in the first period alone - and backstopped the Checkers to a victory, his first in the AHL.


The Checkers have won four straight road games, their longest such streak of the season … Scott Wilson is the third Charlotte skater to record a hat trick this season, tied for the most in a single season in franchise history … It is Wilson’s first career AHL hat trick … Aleksi Heponiemi recorded his third consecutive multi-point game … Spencer Knight earned his first career AHL win and also picked up his first pro point with an assist … Brandon Fortunato notched his first AHL point with an assist … The Checkers have won two straight games against the Crunch and are 2-1-0-0 in the season series … Jacob Friend dropped the gloves for his first AHL fight … Tonight was the fourth time this season the Checkers have scored at least six goals in a game … The Checkers have scored at least four goals in four of their last five games … The Checkers registered a power-play goal and went perfect on the penalty kill for the second straight game … Heponiemi extended his assist streak to four games, tying for the longest such streak by a Checker this season … Kole Lind extended his point streak to four games and Cole Schwindt extended his to three games … Grigori Denisenko, Ryan Lohin, Max Gildon, John Ludvig, Gustav Olofsson and Christopher Gibson all missed the game due to injury … Max Zimmer, Jordan Sambrook, Bobby Russell and Billy Christopoulos were healthy extras


The Checkers will get a few days to regroup before continuing their New York road trip with a visit to Rochester on Wednesday.