Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte Checkers grab 4th straight win, now start road trip

The Charlotte Checkers downed the Rockford IceHogs 4-1 on Sunday to earn a weekend sweep.

The IceHogs got on the board early, with Tanner Kero netting one 50 seconds into the contest, but Charlotte’s Patrick Brown collected the rebound off a Kyle Hagel wrister and put it past Michael Leighton to even the score late in the frame.

The Checkers kept that momentum going into the second and notched a goal within the first five minutes, with Andrew Miller turning on the jets for a breakaway and firing one past Leighton.

Things tightened up for both teams in the third, with Rockford holding a slight edge in shots. The IceHogs pulled their goaltender in the final minutes of regulation to try to spark a comeback, but the Checkers pounced, with Blair Jones and Derek Ryan burying two empty-net goals to ice a 4-1 victory, their fourth in a row.

“It was a sluggish start for sure, but we built momentum as the game went along,” said coach Mark Morris. “Once we got our sea legs, we were a lot sharper and more committed to the way we need to play.”

The Checkers have caught fire since acquiring a slew of new faces at the NHL and AHL trade deadlines.

In control of a playoff spot for the time being, the Checkers head out on a long road trip.