In Cleveland tonight, the Charlotte Checkers played the 9th of their season-opening 10-game road trip against one of the top defensive team in the American Hockey League, the Lake Erie Monsters, and the Monsters proved that they were too much for the Checkers as they would come away with a 3-2 win on their home ice of Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
With the win, the Monsters have earned points in five consecutive games (4-0-1), and during that time, they have allowed just four total goals. Despite the loss, Checkers goalie Drew MacIntyre had a good outing turning away 27 of 30 shots he saw in net. Lake Erie would get on the board first at 5:30 of the opening period of play when Markus Hannikainen scored his second goal of the season to give the Monsters an early 1-0 advantage, which would be that way at the end of the first period of action.
Brody Sutter would come up with the equalizer for the Checkers, forcing a turnover in the Lake Erie zone and beating goalie Anton Forsberg for just his second goal of the year at 13:12 to tie things up at 1-1, but the Monsters would come back with goals of their own later on in the second period. Oleg Yevenko would give them a 2-1 edge at 14:57, setting the stage for Kerby Rychel to net the eventual game-winner for Lake Erie at the 18:35 mark, and that goal was set up nicely by Hannikainen and T.J. Tynan, for the Monsters to carry a 3-1 edge into the final 20 minutes of play.
The Checkers would score the second and final goal of the night from Trevor Carrick at 7:36, as Forsberg would turn in a good performance in net for Lake Erie, stopping 31 of 33 shots to earn the win.
Charlotte and Lake Erie will square off again on Halloween night in Cleveland, before the Checkers return home to prepare for the home opener against the Manitoba Moose on Saturday, November 7th, as the Checkers will mark their long-awaited return back home to Historic Bojangles’ Coliseum.
NOTES: Zach Boychuk still needs one point to become the all-time points scorer in Checkers franchise history, and he has gone scoreless in his last three games…Forward Justin Shugg missed another game due to an injury, while fellow Checkers forward Carter Sandlak and defenseman Tyler Ganly were healthy scratches for Charlotte…The Checkers have now scored nine goals in their last five games, after scoring 21 goals in their first four games of the season.