The Checkers again split their pair of weekend games as they finish the month of October at .500, with a record of 4-4-0. Charlotte won their first match-up of the weekend 3-2 in the shootout over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Chase Priskie opened the scoring early with his second goal of the season just minutes into the first period, but Lehigh would answer back shortly with a goal from top prospect Morgan Frost. Kyle Wood scored his first goal of the season in the second period to give the Checkers the lead heading into the third period.
The Checkers and Phantoms gritted it out for much of the third period before the Phantoms caught a break and Nicolas Aube-Kubel found the back of the net to tie the game at 2. Wood would play the role of hero later in the game as he scored the shootout winner to give the Checkers the win. Anton Forsberg stopped 24 of 26 shots for his fourth win of the year.
In their second game of the weekend, the Checkers dropped a close decision to the Phantoms 3-2 in regulation. Janne Kuokkanen struck first for the Checkers midway through the first period and the lead held going into the second period. The Phantoms would tie the game but defenseman Jake Bean put the Checkers back out in front with less than a minute remaining in the second period.
However, a pair of goals by the Phantoms in the first half of the third period would prove to be enough as the Checkers couldn’t muster enough tie the game. The Checkers spent a majority of the game killing penalties as they gifted the Phantoms eight power play opportunities. Alex Nedeljkovic played better, stopping 39 of 42 shots, but still remains searching for his first win of the season.
In a bit of good news, Jason Shaya’s column this week reports that forward Stelio Mattheos could return to game action as soon as this weekend against Cleveland. Mattheos has yet to play this season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer at the start of Hurricanes training camp.
Swamp Rabbits Roundup
The Swamp Rabbits won their pair of games over the weekend and now improve to 4-2 on the season. Kamerin Nault scored the game winning goal in a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Gladiators and now has five points in six games. The Swamp Rabbits topped the Gladiators again as they captured the 5-2 win. Liam Pecararo continued his hot start to the season over the weekend and now has 11 points (eight goals, three assists) on the season, which ranks tied for second in the league among forwards. The Swamp Rabbits have a busy road ahead with four games in the next five days.