The Checkers spotted Chicago a two-goal lead less than two minutes into Saturday night’s American Hockey League game, but Charlotte would storm back three times to capture a 6-5 victory at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
Three times Charlotte trailed in the contest before finally going ahead for good with back-to-back, third period goals by Brendan Woods and Zach Boychuk.
“I thought we were going to need a touchdown after the first two shots,” Checkers coach Mark Morris said. “We showed some resilience. I thought that it looked pretty dire there at the start of the game and there were a few times when it looked like, ‘Oh boy, here we go again,’ but guys just stuck with it.
“We’ll take it. They’re not all going to be pretty, and hopefully we learned some things along the way.”
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Woods and Boychuk finished with two goals apiece, and the Checkers scored a season-high four times with a manpower advantage.
After leading 2-0 and 4-2 only to have Charlotte respond, the Wolves pushed ahead again in the third period, with former Checker Jeremy Welsh capitalizing on a turnover. That, however, only set the stage for Woods and Boychuk.
Chicago desperately tried for the equalizer, but Charlotte tightened the defense and skated off with the victory.
“We’ve got a lot of smart, skilled, willing guys that make a lot of money doing what they do,” Woods said. “We just need to keep doing what we’re doing because that’s going to be huge coming down towards the end there.”
The win gives the Checkers at least a point in their past five games.
“We have a board up in our room, and right when you walk in you see it,” Woods said. “It’s really tight if you look at the standings and you can’t take any nights off with the (Central Division) that we have. It’s all really close, so anytime you have a team come in your building that’s in your division it’s huge.”