Tonight the Checkers six-game win streak came to an end as the Grand Rapids Griffins found a way to win their first match against the Checkers in franchise history. It was only a matter of time before the Checkers would lose a game, especially with the insane amount of call ups to Carolina. However, the Checkers didn’t go down without a fight.
Justin Peters got the nod in net for his fifth start in the past six games for the Checkers. The first period provided a lot of back and forth action from both sides of the ice, but newly appointed All-Star defenseman Michal Jordan was able to put the Checkers on the board early as Jenks headed off to the penalty box. It would be Jordan’s first shorthanded goal of the season with assists from Sutter and Nash. Just three minutes later the Griffins were able to tie it up as Hoggan stuck one past Peters, a tie that wouldn’t last long as Jordan potted yet another goal to instill a 2-1 lead into the second frame.
To begin the second period the Checkers were immediately put on the defense as Schmitz took a high-sticking penalty and put the Griffins on the power play, one they killed off with ease. At 11:10 Pither would find himself in the box for Charlotte for a tripping penalty that the Griffins were able to capitalize and tie the game on, Ferraro getting credit for the goal. The penalties were what seemed to hurt the Checkers the most in the second period as they went into the final frame tied at 2 a piece.
The Griffins came out in the third period ready to dominate and that is exactly what they did, getting on the board just over two minutes into the period. Justin Shugg was able to tie the game once again, but it wasn’t enough to deflate the Griffins. Joakim Andersson was able to get a shot past Peters to earn the lead back for his team, and Francis Pare potted the empty net goal to seal a 5-3 victory over the Checkers, the club’s first franchise win over Charlotte.
The Checkers are set to play their next game against the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday, January 20, face off being held at 5:00pm sharp.
- Goaltending: Justin Peters lost his first game in his last five starts, despite saving 36 of the 40 shots he faced. On the opposite end of the ice, Tom McCollum earned himself a victory in saving all but 14 shots against the Checkers.
- Shots on Goal: Charlotte 5-3-9 (17) Grand Rapids 10-18-13 (41)
- Power Play Opportunities: Charlotte 0/2 Grand Rapids 0/5
- Three Stars of the Game:
- Joakim Andersson – 1 goal, 2 assists (Grand Rapids)
- Michal Jordan – 2 goals (Charlotte)
- Landon Ferraro – 1 goal, 1 assist (Grand Rapids)