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Charlotte Checkers


Checkers Haunt Phantoms in Crucial Win

Checkers Haunt Phantoms in Crucial Win

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Charlotte Checkers met Friday night for some crucial Atlantic Division hockey in regard to the standings at PPL Center. With home ice on the line for the play-in round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, particularly for the Checkers who had the possibility of not having any home games should they finish in fifth or sixth place. With the game on the line, former Phantom Gerry Mayhew broke the deadlock in the third period and Charlotte added two more power play goals en route to a 5-2 decision in Allentown. Mack Guzda earned the win with 20 saves while Samuel Ersson took the loss with 25 stops.

The Checkers hit a milestone by opening up the game with Ryan McAllister’s first American Hockey League goal in just his third game in the league. The forward had a pair of assists a game prior for the Checkers, jumping in on an amateur tryout agreement after signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers ten days prior to Friday’s game. Lehigh Valley evened up the game before the period ended on the power play with Garrett Wilson’s 18th goal of the year.

Cameron Morrison would get in on the action to continue his recent hot streak, scoring his third goal in two games on the power play as a new threat on the man advantage. The Checkers have had a field day on the power play, tallying three times in Hershey and striking three times in this game to take the lead, one that they’d hold until the third period when highly-regarding Philadelphia Flyers prospect Bobby Brink scored his 11th goal of the year as an absolute beauty, flying past the defense and beat Guzda with a pretty move to even the count at two.

That’s where the Checkers would take control with Mayhew’s goal, dancing into the zone and beating Ersson in the slot to take the lead, and power play goals from Lucas Carlsson and Riley Nash gave the Checkers a definitive 5-2 advantage as Charlotte once again tallied three times on the power play to seal the game for the visitors. The Checkers got goals from five different skaters in an impressive win.

The decision locked in home-ice advantage for the Checkers, who unveiled their schedule for the play-in round after the game starting on April 18. All three games of the series will take place at Bojangles Coliseum, with the second game on April 20 and the third game, if necessary, on April 21. Charlotte benefits from the extended travel situation and the truncated schedule of the play-in round to have home ice advantage for not only two games, but the entire series. The schedule is a first glimpse at the timeline the first round will follow.

The Checkers will visit the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday to wrap up their season, while the Phantoms will be looking for two points to try and move into fifth place with some help out of town from who would be their opponent in the play-in round in Springfield. They’ll be contending with the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, one of the hottest teams in the league that dropped the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday.

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