The Checkers went toe-to-toe with the Phantoms in front of a raucous crowd of supporters on Saturday night, fending off Lehigh Valley and claiming a big 6-4 victory.

The two sides traded surges in the first frame, with the Checkers notching a pair of goals early to open the scoring only to see Lehigh Valley punch back with a pair of their own before the first horn sounded.

The second period is where the Checkers turned the tide in their favor. Henry Bowlby found himself in behind the defense and snuck one five-hole to reclaim the Charlotte lead late in the middle frame, then Grigori Denisenko wired a shot just minutes later to push that advantage back to two goals.

The Phantoms went to work chipping away at that advantage in the third - twice narrowing the lead back to a single goal - but the Checkers were up to the task both times, with Lucas Carlsson and Anthony Bitetto each finding the back of the net to throw water on the rally attempt and guide the Checkers to a huge divisional win.


The postgame Charlotte FC jersey auction raised $36,540 for the Checkers Charitable Foundation … Denisenko recorded his third multi-point game in his last six outings … Riley Nash has recorded at least one point in nine of his last 12 games (4g, 8a) … Mayhew had first multi-point game of the season (1g, 1a) … Hutsko scored for the second consecutive game … Chris Tierney had his second consecutive two-assist game … The teams were perfect on the power play in the first period (CLT 1/1, Lehigh Valley 2/2) … The Checkers scored shorthanded for the second consecutive game … Checkers scratches included forward Connor Bunnaman, defensemen Johnny Ludvig, Calle Sjalin and Zach Uens, and goaltender Alex Lyon.