Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte Checkers top Iowa Wild 4-1 to open season

The Charlotte Checkers got the 2015-16 season off to a flying start Saturday, defeating the Iowa Wild 4-1 thanks to two goals by Brock McGinn.

One of last season’s top rookies and one of the final cuts from the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes this season, McGinn recorded the third multigoal game of his career. Sergey Tolchinsky scored the game’s first goal just before the five-minute mark of the first period. Two minutes later, McGinn netted his first on a breakaway after taking advantage of Iowa defenseman Mike Reilly’s broken stick.

Iowa got a goal back on a power-play score by Reilly in the second period. McGinn then provided some breathing room midway through the third by blasting a shot from the top of the left circle.

T.J. Hensick, a perennial scorer in the AHL in his first game for the Checkers, iced the game with a power-play goal in the final minutes of regulation.

The teams play a rematch Sunday at 6 p.m.

Three who mattered

Brock McGinn: Hurricanes’ second-round draft pick in 2013, ranked third on the Checkers with 15 goals last season

Mark Morris: New Checkers coach now has 339 AHL victories

T.J. Hensick: Finished in the top 10 in AHL scoring four times in the last five seasons.

Worth mentioning

▪ The Checkers started on the road for the sixth time in their sixth AHL campaigns and are now 3-3-0 in season openers.

▪ The Carolina Hurricanes assigned defenseman Danny Biega to Charlotte immediately after the game.

▪ Iowa forwards Brett Sutter and Zac Dalpe rank third and fourth on the Checkers’ all-time scoring list, respectively.

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