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Charlotte Checkers vs. Laval Rocket Recap: Necas and Booth Lead the Way as Checkers blast Rocket 3-1

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The Checkers are streaking with their third straight win.

Callum Booth makes 26 save sin Charlotte’s 3-1 win over Laval.
Charlotte Checkers

In a grinding game with not much offense, the Charlotte Checkers earned their third straight victory with a 3-1 win over the Laval Rocket. Charlotte rookie goaltender Callum Booth made 26 saves in the win.

Early in the first period, Janne Kuokkanen danced into the offensive zone with a shimmy and a shake to give Charlotte their first opportunity of the game. The scoring chances were slim in the first nine minutes of the game with both teams mustering just three shots on goal between them.

The Checkers went on the power play when a Laval player made contact with Checkers goalie Callum Booth and, on the ensuing 5-on-3 opportunity, Aleksi Saarela sniped a shot from the circle to put Charlotte up 1-0. The goal was Saarela’s fifth in five games after scoring just two in his first 16 games. The first-period tally extended Saarela’s point streak to three games after a multi-point night in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Laval.

Later in the period, Laval forward Michael McCarron scored on an odd-man rush after a Charlotte defensive lapse.

Charlotte exchanged chances with Laval in the second period but the Rocket played a better period. The Rocket heavily outshot the Checkers 11-2 in the second but Booth remained strong. He received a little bit of help from the Charlotte defense after defenseman Dennis Robertson swatted a puck off the goal line to keep the game tied after good pressure by the Laval offense on the power play.

The Checkers came out with more energy in the third and quickly re-established their forecheck. After a strong counter forecheck by Laval, the Rocket challenged a play with around six minutes in. Replay confirmed the puck did not cross the goal line and the score remained at one apiece. With 9:44 to go in the period, Martin Necas cleaned up a rebound to give Charlotte the lead. Nicolas Roy and Kuokkanen were credited with assists on the goal.

Charlotte played a laid back style in the final few minutes before Laval pulled back-up goalie Michael McNiven for the extra skater. Booth made a big save on the goal line with 48 seconds to go to keep that game at 2-1 and preserve the win for Charlotte. Roland McKeown added an empty-net goal for good measure with a second left.

Charlotte will get a few days rest before taking on the Providence Bruins on the road on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The game against the Bruins will kickoff a five-game road trip before the Checkers return home on December 13th for a six-game homestand.


Postgame Quotes