The Checkers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Manitoba Moose on Saturday night to conclude their home-stand before the AHL All Star break. The Checkers conclude the eight game home-stand with a 5-2-1 record.
Eddie Lack made his second consecutive start after Carolina assigned him to Charlotte for a conditioning stint (concussion). Lack performed well as he stopped 26 of 28 shots.
The Moose scored on the power play early in the first period after forward Brandon Lemieux had a puck glance off his body into the back of the net. Lack made a breakaway stop on Kyle Connor midway through the first period to keep the Checkers within one. Charlotte had many chances on the power play in the first period but couldn’t generate any offensive momentum.
The Moose would extend their lead to two at the 9:00 mark of the second period after Kyle Connor scored right off a face-off by Brandon Denham. With 3:54 left in the second period, Andrew Poturalski scored his ninth goal of the season to pull the Checkers within one heading in to the second intermission.
The Checkers generated chances within the third period but Manitoba goalie Eric Comrie, who finished with 35 saves, was consistent and stood tall in net for the Moose. Phil Di Giuseppe committed a penalty with 1:37 to go to thwart any chance of the Checkers tying the game and forcing overtime.
The Checkers abysmal power play proved costly as they went 0 for 5 with the man advantage. Charlotte’s power play ranks last in the American Hockey League.
The AHL now breaks for its own All-Star break, with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hosting this year’s festivities in Allentown, Pa., tomorrow and Monday. Checkers goaltender Michael Leighton will represent Charlotte at the game.
The Checkers next game is February 3rd on the road against the Tucson Roadrunners, who will play a two-game set against the Checkers at Gila River Arena in Phoenix, before they return home to Charlotte on February 10th to take on the Stockton Heat. The Checkers and Moose will next face each other on March 9 and 10th.