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Checkers advance to Calder Cup Final on Geekie’s 2OT winner

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The Checkers eliminate the defending champions and will get the chance to play for the AHL title themselves.

Justin Lape

Just because the Carolina Hurricanes’ season is done doesn’t mean that there won’t be hockey played in June in North Carolina.

The Charlotte Checkers are heading to their first Calder Cup Final in franchise history after Morgan Geekie scored 1:52 into the second overtime on Sunday, giving the Checkers a 4-3 win over the Toronto Marlies and a 4-2 series win. It’s the first conference title for the Hurricanes franchise’s affiliate since 1991, when the Springfield Indians won the Calder Cup as the AHL affiliate of the Hartford Whalers.

Geekie‘s goal, very similar to the one that Brock McGinn scored for the Hurricanes in Game 7 against Washington six weeks ago, was not without controversy, as the puck had gone into the netting undetected by the officials about 30 seconds before the goal was scored. The Checkers won’t mind, though, as a record attendance of nearly 8,400 people packed Bojangles Coliseum to see the Checkers advance to the Calder Cup Final against the winner of the Western Conference Final between the Chicago Wolves and San Diego Gulls. The Wolves lead that series 3-2 with Game 6 in Chicago Monday.

The series will begin next weekend with games Saturday and Sunday at 6 PM in Charlotte. Game 6 and 7, if necessary, will be Thursday and Friday, June 13 and 14th.