Justin Sourdif played the hero on Friday night, netting the overtime winner to get the Checkers back in the win column with a 3-2 defeat of Utica.

Just 18 seconds into the extra frame, Sourdif carried the puck in on an odd-man rush and wired a wrister into the top corner to put an end to the contest.

The Checkers pushed ahead after a scoreless first, as the veteran duo of Zac Dalpe and Riley Nash each lit the lamp to claim the home side a 2-0 lead. That wouldn’t survive the remainder of regulation, though, as the Comets pushed in a pair of their own just minutes apart in the third to draw the score back even and put the game on track for overtime.

Despite the hiccups in the third, Alex Lyon finished the contest with 28 saves on the night and picked up his team-leading sixth win of the year between the pipes for Charlotte.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on Justin Sourdif’s overtime goal
He’s got an elite shot and I’m glad we had a shot mentality at the end of the game.

Kinnear on the game overall
We need as much rest as we can get because we’ve played a lot of overtimes and a lot of hockey, but it was nice to get the win. We had some really good moments and some mistakes, but we’re still really early in the year that we’re learning through the ups and the downs of a season. Overall I was happy, and now we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go tomorrow.

Kinnear on allowing Utica to come back from 2-0 down and force overtime
Just mistakes. We had the puck in certain areas where we talk about all the time that it didn’t go where we want it to go. Usually when you play a high-skill team and you turn the puck over it’s going to be in the back of your net, and it was. What I liked is that throughout the season you have to find ways to manage the ups and downs, because once you get to the real season there’s going to be a lot of those ups and downs. I thought we did a good job finding our way at some point. It just took us a little longer than I’d like it to, but we found our way.

Justin Sourdif on his overtime goal
Anytime you get an odd-man rush the adrenaline starts to pump there a little bit. I could have passed it, but at the end of the game in overtime the ice is pretty bad out there, so I just thought I’d play it safe, try to shoot it and use the defenseman as a screen. Fortunately enough it went in.

Sourdif on scoring so quickly to end yet another overtime game
It’s good to get it out of the way early, but we’ve had quite a few overtime games this year. I like our record in them, and getting those extra two points is huge for our team towards the end of the year.

Sourdif on getting the win after allowing Utica back in the game
They took it to us there in the second half of the game, and you’ve got to give them credit because they’re on the road. It was huge for our team to get a lot of o-zone time in the last 10 minutes there and that gave us momentum going into overtime where we were able to get the win.

Sourdif on the hectic schedule
The schedule for the past couple of weeks has been pretty tough on us, but we just take it one day at a time and one game at a time, and I think that’s what’s given us some success on our last road trip and coming back home.


The Checkers have played a league-high eight overtime games. They are 6-2 in those contests, including a 3-1 mark in both the three-on-three period and the shootout … With a goal and an assist tonight, Nash has seven points (3g, 4a) in his last six games … Dalpe has three goals in his last four games … Michael Del Zotto had two assists to extend his point streak to four games (1g, 4a) … Checkers goalie Alex Lyon has won four straight starts … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau and Ethan Keppen, defensemen Anthony Bitetto, Max Gildon, Johnny Ludvig and Calle Sjalin, and goaltender J-F Berube.