Defenseman Matt Corrente recorded his first two-goal game as a professional and Philippe Cornet scored the game-winner as Charlotte picked up a 3-2 win against the host Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night.
John Muse made 29 saves for the Checkers, who, having just completed a 10-game homestand, were playing their first road game in a month.
The win marked the Checkers’ first away from home since Oct. 31 and ended a franchise-record four-game losing streak on the road. They now head to Chicago to play the Wolves on Sunday before completing their Midwestern swing with a Monday night game in Rockford.
Corrente, who opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game with a shot from the point that beat Magnus Hellberg through traffic, was an unlikely offensive hero for the Checkers as he had previously scored 13 goals in 225 career games as a professional in the AHL and NHL.
The offensive outburst by Corrente, who, along with defensive partner Keegan Lowe, finished with a game-high, plus-3 rating, nullified a shaky defensive start for the Checkers, who saw the home team take a 2-1 lead before the first period ended. Both goals came as a result of turnovers in the defensive zone, with the Admirals taking advantage on Mark van Guilder’s short-side goal against Muse and Zach Budish’s five-hole finish on a drop pass from Mathieu Tousignant.
Boychuk goes to Canes
Matthew Pistilli, signed to a professional tryout contract by Charlotte earlier in the day, made his Checkers season debut in place of Zach Boychuk, who was called up to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. He became the eighth player to play for the Checkers in all four of their AHL seasons.
Boychuk was called up after forward Jiri Tlusty’s emergency appendectomy. Tlusty will be sidelined two to three weeks.
“I’m very excited to be back here,” Boychuk said. “The last opportunity was a little bit short – just one game. I felt like I played pretty good, and they said I’d get another chance, and it’s nice they honored that and I’m back.”
Boychuk was first recalled from the Checkers for a Dec. 6 game against the San Jose Sharks, earning an assist in a 5-3 victory at PNC Arena. He then returned to the Checkers and began piling up points.
Boychuk, 24, has a team-best 14 goals for Charlotte, scoring 12 in his past 16 games. He has 27 points in 29 games for the Checkers, also a team high.
“I think this is the best stretch of hockey I’ve played in a long time,” he said. “I’m playing more intense and skating harder, and it’s resulting in goals and some solid play.” Chip Alexander
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