A two-goal deficit against an excellent defensive team proved too much to overcome Thursday night as the Charlotte Checkers 3-2 at Lake Erie.
After scoring his fourth goal of the season, more than any other American Hockey League defenseman, Trevor Carrick also had Charlotte’s best chance to tie the score during the final minute of regulation, but goaltender Anton Forsberg and the Monsters were able to hang on. Brody Sutter also scored for Charlotte, which fell to 5-4.
Lake Erie has earned points in five consecutive games (4-0-1), allowing just four goals during that span. Drew MacIntyre, who has played in all nine of the Checkers’ games this season, turned in another impressive outing with 27 stops.
What was shaping up to be a goaltender’s duel similar to Charlotte’s 2-1 shootout victory Tuesday at Rockford, opened up late in the second period when Sutter capitalized on a turnover in the Monsters zone to beat Forsberg with a quick shot. That goal, which tied the score at 1, was quickly followed up by two from the Monsters during the final five minutes of the period as the ice tilted heavily in the home team’s favor.
Carrick gave the Monsters a scare by putting home a blast from the point midway through the final period. With MacIntyre pulled for the extra attacker, Carrick got the puck all alone in front of goal with approximately 35 seconds left only for Forsberg to produce an excellent blocker save.
Forsberg, who stopped Patrick Brown and Derek Ryan on short-handed breakaways during a Lake Erie second-period power play, finished with 31 stops.
The teams will play a Halloween night rematch that will mark the final game of the Checkers’ 10-game swing to start the season. After that, Charlotte’s next contest will be the home opener at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Nov. 7.