Any thoughts of lingering effects from Wednesday’s loss were stomped out quickly as the Checkers started regulation at a frantic pace and snagged an early two-goal league - courtesy of a crisp passing-play finish from Cole Schwindt and a strong net-front play from Luke Henman.
That put Charlotte in control of the game, and the home team never relented from there. Matt Kiersted jumped in from the point to extend the advantage once more before the first buzzer, then the Checkers tacked on two more in the middle frame to blow the game wide open with a staggering five-goal lead.
The Thunderbirds would sneak one through in the third period, but it was the only blemish on Joey Daccord’s sheet. The netminder set a season-high with 44 saves to shut down the high-powered Springfield offense and claim a crucial divisional victory.
OK OK this guy is pretty good pic.twitter.com/NuqoWBtNEP— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) March 12, 2022
I thought it was really good. The group, all year, has come out and played hard. Tonight was no different.
Kinnear on Joey Daccord’s performance
We have a really young group and had new faces in there because we lost some key guys. Joey settled it down, but I thought all four lines and six D contributed tonight. That’s what it’s all about.
Kinnear on Owen Tippett
I had him before when I was in Springfield and he was a young kid, so we have a good relationship. He knows what he’s got to do and he does it down here. First and foremost he’s a great teammate and he works extremely hard. That’s contagious, and then once he does that his skill takes over. He’s been really good for us.
Kinnear on tomorrow’s rematch with Springfield
In their building (two weeks ago) I thought they were one of the best teams we’ve played. We’re going to see their best tomorrow night, but it’s not about worrying about what Springfield does. We want to continue to build how we’re going to play.
Owen Tippett on what’s working for him offensively
I think I’m just holding on to the puck a little bit longer. One of the biggest things was that I wanted to gain some confidence. The team’s been great. Obviously coming off of a long road trip like that we wanted to get back on home ice and use that momentum to get back on track here.
Tippett on bouncing back from the last game, a 7-1 loss
Not a lot was said, but it goes without saying that we need to be better. I think all the guys knew that, we came ready to play today and it showed.
Tippett on fitting in with the Checkers
When you come in you never know what chemistry is going to be like, but the guys have been great. It’s been an easy transition. Every game I’m starting to play with different guys and I’m just gaining confidence and chemistry with everyone on the team.
Joey Daccord on the game
We got off to a good start there. Made some saves early, we scored a couple of quick ones and we were off to the races. We played unreal tonight. At n awesome win for us. That’s a really good team over there, and we think we’re a really good team too. It was a great win.
Daccord on gaining confidence early
I think when they’re getting chances early, obviously you don’t want to get scored on, but just in terms of how I play I try to feel like I have everything under control and I want the guys to feel like Daccs has got it back there. When we play like that, we’re pretty hard to beat. The whole D corps was unbelievable tonight. They got the game ball from coach and they deserved it. Shout out to Dennis Cesena too – first pro game, first American League game, and he was awesome. I’ve known him for a while and grew up playing against him, so it was fun to see him play well.
Daccord on returning home after a long trip
After a couple of weeks on the road, to come back here with a packed house at Bojangles – the place was buzzing tonight. It was a lot of fun. Just to start quick and get a couple of goals early, the place was jumping. We got off to a roll and it was an awesome win and an awesome crowd. Charlotte is a lot of fun. It was an awesome win.