Checkers mow down Monsters 9-0
Press release provided by the Charlotte Checkers
CHARLOTTE, NC – The Checkers imposed their will on Cleveland, mowing down the Monsters 9-0 in front of a packed house.
Spencer Knight, down from the NHL as he makes his way back from injury, stopped all 23 shots that he faced to pick up the shutout - his third in 12 career AHL appearances.
The Charlotte offense certainly helped lighten the load for Knight. After heading into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead courtesy of Anton Levtchi, the Checkers erupted in the middle frame for a staggering seven goals to blow things open, then tacked on one more in the third for good measure.
Thirteen different skaters found the scoresheet for Charlotte and seven posted multi-point efforts. It was the trio of Riley Nash, Aleksi Heponiemi and Connor Bunnaman who led the way, however - Nash matched a career-best with a four-point outburst, Heponiemi tallied three helpers and Bunnaman added a goal and two assists.
Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
“I liked a lot of stuff. We asked them for a few things yesterday and talked about it today again, and we ended up getting it. It was good. We’re not going to be a team that looks behind us. We’re looking ahead, and it’s going to be a really tough game tomorrow.”
Kinnear on having days off to reset during the week
“I don’t believe in resets – I believe in keep building. We talked all week that we want to get better individually and collectively. I liked a lot of guys today and I liked how the group played. We’re not in a reset, we’re just build, build, build.”
Kinnear on the offensive showing
“Obviously we haven’t scored a lot of goals this year. There’s been a lot of one-goal games, but we had four lines going. We had discipline, we weren’t in the box a lot tonight and we want to continue to move forward with having that disciplined hockey and scoring goals the right way. I thought we did that today.”
Kinnear on Spencer Knight
“He was real good. He had that big save in the second to keep it at zero, which is what we want. Obviously he’s been here before and he’s a world-class goalie, but you always like when guys come down and play very well, and he came down with a great attitude and played very well. He’s part of the whole group, which is what you want in an organization.”
Spencer Knight on his return from injury
“I felt good. Today I just tried to focus on just coming in, having fun and playing the game. In the past couple of months I’ve been too hard on myself. I just wanted to go out there and have fun. Guys were having a good time just working hard.”
Knight on his approach to this game
“I always said that each game is different. I just come to the rink and do the same thing the next day or whatever it is. Whether it’s practice, a morning skate, a game or whatever – just go out there and have fun. Every day is a new day.”
Knight on building from this game
“I just love playing the game. It doesn’t really matter where I am, whether it’s the NHL or the AHL. I love playing the game and I’m really fortunate to have such a great organization and a great team up in Florida. Down here it’s an awesome group of guys and just really easy to come in. It’s like I’ve been here for months. Just gelled really quickly and it’s a lot of fun.”
The North Carolina Night jersey auction raised $31,195 for charity … The Checkers’ seven-goal second period was one shy of the franchise record of eight set on Dec. 6, 2010. The franchise record for goals in a game is 11, set last season … This tied the most goals scored by an AHL team this season, with Tucson and Calgary also having done so … Nash (2g, 2a) tied his career high for points in a single game set on Feb. 16, 2013 … Spencer Knight has three shutouts in 12 career AHL games. This was his first AHL game since March 9 of last season … Aleksi Heponiemi (3a tonight) has 14 points (2g, 12a) in his last 12 games … Lucas Carlsson has a career-long, three-game goal streak … Santtu Kinnunen has recorded a point in nine of his last 12 games (5g, 4a) … Gerry Meyhew recorded his first multi-goal game of the season … Dennis Cesana had his first career multi-point game (2a) … Connor Bunnaman had a career-high three points (1g, 2a) .. The Checkers improved to 3-0-0 in the season series with Cleveland that concludes tomorrow … Anton Levtchi scored his first goal since Nov. 18, ending an 18-game drought … Logan Hutsko returned from injury to play his first game since Dec. 22 … Checkers scratches included forwards Justin Sourdif and Ethan Keppen and defensemen Calle Sjalin and Zach Uens.
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