In the first half of their final series of the season, the Checkers came up just short against the Grand Rapids Griffins, 2-1.
The two squads struggled to gain ground in the first period, skating out to a scoreless frame, but Kevin Porter finally put the Griffins on the board under two minutes into the second. With several players taking whacks at a loose puck in front to no avail, Porter swooped in and put it past a sprawled out Drew MacIntyre to go up 1-0.
The Checkers evened things shortly after in the second, when Kyle Hagel collected a loose puck to the left of Grand Rapids goalie Jared Coreau and threw it toward the net from a bad angle. The puck deflected off something in front and found its way in to knot the game, which would hold up through the rest of the second frame.
Midway through a tightly contested third, Martin Frk broke the deadlock, firing a wrister through a mass of bodies in front and into the back of the net. The Checkers attempt at a rally fell just short, and the Griffins hung on for the 2-1 victory.
Three Charlotte players recorded over four shots in the game, including five from Phil Di Giuseppe.
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lamoureux Cha (hooking), 13:29; Zengerle Gr (hooking), 14:23.
2nd Period-1, Grand Rapids, Porter 15 (Frk, Nosek), 1:48. 2, Charlotte, Hagel 2 (Frazee), 7:58. Penalties-Biega Cha (hooking), 3:07; Paetsch Gr (tripping), 9:52; Jensen Gr (hooking), 15:09.
3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, Frk 6 (Jensen), 8:45. Penalties-Ouellet Gr (interference), 0:27; Robertson Cha (tripping), 3:33.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 5-13-10-28. Grand Rapids 12-11-10-33. Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0/4; Grand Rapids 0/3. Goalies-Charlotte, MacIntyre 19-26-1 (33 shots-31 saves). Grand Rapids, Coreau 16-7-1 (28 shots-27 saves). A-9,264. Referees-Geno Binda (22). Linesmen-Bob Marcis (65), Jesse Pletsch (51).