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Recap: Michael Leighton, Charlotte Checkers Earn Shutout Victory

The Checkers are back to .500 after a weekend sweep of Grand Rapids.

NHL: Preseason-Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Checkers continued their homestand with a 3-0 win on Saturday night against the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Michael Leighton recorded a shutout, his third victory of the season in as many games.

Valentin Zykov got the scoring started in the first period for the Checkers on an early power play goal, after Evgeny Svechnikov was whistled for hooking. Derek Ryan also scored in the first after a tip in front off of a Brock McGinn shot, which put the Checkers up 2-0 heading into the first intermission. Zykov also recorded an assist on Ryan’s goal, giving him his first multi-point game of the season.

The second period remained quiet as the teams exchanged chances. Patrick Brown had a chance to extend the Checkers’ lead on a two-on-one shorthanded breakaway, but was denied by Grand Rapids goaltender Eddie Pasquale who made a beautiful glove save.

Derek Ryan fired into the empty net, his second goal of the game, with 1:28 to go in the third to secure the win for the Checkers.

The Checkers did a good job of containing Red Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha. Mantha had recorded seven goals in six games coming in to tonight’s matchup.

The Checkers’ next set of games will be against the Rockford IceHogs at home (Chicago Blackhawks affiliate) on November 2nd and November 3rd.