One week after dominating the Norfolk Admirals in Charlotte, the Checkers could not find the same success in the American Hockey League rematch, falling 4-1 Wednesday night and matching a franchise-worst six-game road winless streak.
The Admirals jumped in front just 78 seconds into the game when Louis Leblanc launched a quick shot from the blue line that seemed to catch goalie Drew MacIntyre by surprise.
The Checkers thought they had tied the score shortly thereafter when Keegan Lowe followed up on a rebound and seemingly put it past Norfolk goalie Yan Dannis. But upon video review, the refs ruled the puck bounced off the post and down but never crossed the red line, nullifying Charlotte’s goal. The Admirals then came down and found the net again, putting the Checkers in a two-goal hole.
Norfolk extended its lead early in the third, with Leblanc deflecting a puck in for his second goal of the game. The Checkers finally broke up Dannis’ shutout when Brendan Woods chipped in his second goal of the season. But the team wasn’t able to get any more of a rally going.
Norfolk’s power play, which is ranked 24th in the AHL, struck twice on five chances. It marked the third time in the past eight games the Checkers have allowed two in a game.
Charlotte, which played without forwards Patrick Brown, Ben Holmstrom, Jared Staal and Brody Sutter because of injuries, will open a five-game homestand Saturday with Hornets Night against the Milwaukee Admirals.
First Period–1, Norfolk, Leblanc 5 (Bell, Cantin), 1:18. 2, Norfolk, Wagner 8 (Pistilli, Kerdiles), 13:54 (pp). Penalties–Terry, C (roughing), 0:43; Wagner, N (roughing), 0:43; Laganiere, N (tripping), 4:23; Hagel, C (fighting major), 6:40; Kurtz, N (fighting major), 6:40; Rissanen, C (hooking), 13:02; Rissanen, C (cross-checking), 19:57.
Second Period–None. Penalties–Steckel, N (holding), 13:18; Lowe, C (holding), 17:35.
Third Period–3, Norfolk, Leblanc 6 (Bell), 3:27 (pp). 4, Charlotte, Woods 2 (Di Giuseppe, Desjardins), 5:38. 5, Norfolk, Etem 1 (Blacker, Steckel), 18:38 (en). Penalties–Carrick, C (slashing), 2:50; Hagel, C (boarding), 2:50; Yip, N (roughing), 2:50; Lowe, C (boarding), 19:14.
Shots on goal–Charlotte 12-10-9–31. Norfolk 11-8-10–29. Goalies–Charlotte, MacIntyre 4-8-0 (28 shots-25 saves). Norfolk, Danis 2-3-0 (31-30). Att.–3,506 (at Norfolk, Va.).