Playing their third game in three days in three different cities, the Checkers allowed four unanswered goals, surrendering a 3-1 lead in the second period, to fall to the division-leading Springfield Thunderbirds 5-3 on Sunday.
After trading first-period goals with the Thunderbirds following Hutsko’s opener, the Checkers seemed to be in the driver’s seat when Schwindt made it 3-1 on a shorthanded breakaway midway through the middle frame. The goal, made possible by defenseman Gustav Olofsson’s home run flip pass directly into the path of a streaking Schwindt, was the continuation of a breakout weekend for the 20-year-old rookie. Schwindt earned first-star honors with a goal and an assist in the 3-2 win in Hartford one night earlier.
Only highlight reel goals today ? pic.twitter.com/qXMWfY1NxJ— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) October 31, 2021
Springfield would soon storm back, however, scoring two goals 57 seconds apart to tie the game just minutes later. First, they pinned the Checkers in their own zone and stopped several attempts to clear the puck before cashing in. Then, they capitalized on a quick-developing two-on-one break that resulted from a misconnection on a Checkers’ offensive-zone chance just moments earlier.
The Thunderbirds carried that momentum into the third, tacking on two more to cruise to victory.