After opening the season with three consecutive American Hockey League victories, the Charlotte Checkers dropped their second in a row Wednesday night, falling 4-3 to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Penalty trouble doomed the Checkers early, as they found themselves short-handed six times through the first two periods. The Griffins were able to capitalize twice with the manpower advantage, which proved to be the difference as they earned their first win of the season.
Phil Di Giuseppe notched the first goal of the game for Charlotte, keeping his point streak alive by hammering home a feed from T.J. Hensick late in the first period. The goal gives Di Giuseppe, a second-year pro, a point in every game this season.
The Checkers mounted a furious attack during the third period, dominating possession and pulling within striking distance thanks to goals from Brendan Woods and David Wohlberg. Charlotte, however, couldn’t solve Griffins goalie Jared Coreau, who came up big with 20 of his 37 saves during the final period.
Three who mattered
Phil Di Giuseppe: Extended his point streak to five games
Jake Chelios: Recorded his fifth assist in his first three appearances for the Checkers
Martin Frk: The Griffins forward netted two goals, including the eventual game-winner early in the third
▪ The Checkers have a power-play in every game this season.
▪ Zach Boychuk led the game with eight shots on goal.
▪ Justin Shugg missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury.
The Checkers will continue their month-long road trip Friday night with a rematch at Grand Rapids.