Less than 24 hours after getting thumped in their home arena by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Charlotte Checkers didn’t waste any time getting some redemption.
Charlotte raced out to a three-goal lead in the first nine minutes on Saturday before holding off a Penguins rally for a 5-3 win to earn a split in the weekend series.
After the Penguins (19-16-4-1) had delivered a surprising 5-1 smashing of the AHL-leading Checkers on Friday night, Julien Gauthier scored just 1:14 into Saturday’s game, and Charlotte added goals from Morgan Geekie and Zack Nastasiuk to make it 3-0 midway through the first.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which led Friday’s game 3-0 after one, stayed in the game thanks to Cam Brown’s first goal with the club, which was quickly followed by a power-play marker from all-star defenseman Ethan Prow to make it 3-2 late in the second.
Nicolas Roy stole back some momentum before the period ended however, beating Tristan Jarry to restore a two-goal lead.
Defenseman Jeff Taylor made it interesting for the Penguins when he scored with 7:20 left in regulation, but Roy added his second goal of the game into an empty net with 1:23 remaining to seal the win.
In the net for back-to-back nights, Jarry allowed four goals on 26 shots. Charlotte counterpart Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 32 of 35 shots and was strong in the third, when the Penguins launched 17 shots on goal.
Adam Johnson picked up a pair of assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which will be off until Friday, when the Penguins host Rochester.