CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Checkers overcame an early deficit, scoring a pair of first period goals and outshooting the Springfield Falcons 43-22 on their way to a 3-1 victory on Wednesday evening.
Brett Sutter netted the game-winner for Charlotte, while Zach Boychuk and Jerome Samson scored the Checkers’ other two goals. Goalie Mike Murphy turned away 21 of 22 shots and made a pair of exceptional saves on breakaways.
Boychuk’s goal came in his first period back with Charlotte after a 16-game stint with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Springfield goalie Gustaf Wesslau had a busy night stopping 40 of Charlotte’s 43 shots.
Tomas Kubalik opened the scoring for Springfield, 6:43 into the first period. The big winger capitalized on a turnover in the Checkers’ zone, deked and snapped a shot past a sprawling Murphy.
Minutes later, Boychuk put on a one-man show to draw the Checkers even at 1-1. Boychuk came out from behind the net, maneuvered through a pair of defenders and wristed a shot over the left shoulder of Wesslau. The goal was number 11’s 11th of the season at 11:11 of the first period.
With 4:02 remaining in the first period, Sutter gave the Checkers a 2-1 lead. The former Calgary Flames forward found a loose puck in front and lifted a backhander over Wesslau for his fourth goal in the last four games.
Samson added an insurance goal, his league-leading 21st of the season, late in the third period to give the Checkers a 3-1 lead. Zac Dalpe skated into the offensive zone and fed Samson, who then rifled a wrist shot into the back of the net.
Murphy was solid in the final minutes and earned his 11th win of the season.