GRAND RAPIDS, Mich – After an evening on Saturday, when power play goals came easily, the Checkers efforts on Sunday against the Griffins dried up. From three power play situations they went scoreless. It is amazing that after scoring eight goals against Milwaukee the previous night the Checkers were almost shut out in a 2-1 loss to Grand Rapids.
It would have been only the second time this season that Charlotte would have failed to score. It was Jeremy Welsh who came to the rescue with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Welsh had scored two goals the night before.
Tristan Grant gave Grand Rapids the lead 2.39 in to the first period when his shot hit Checkers goalie, Justin Peters on its way in to the goal. The Griffins second goal came in the second period when Andrej Nestrasil picked up a loose clearance by Charlotte to score the first goal of his AHL career. Again the shot appeared to take a deflection from a Checkers defender that sent the puck high over Peters head in to the net.
Justin Peters made 24 saves while his counterpart NHL veteran Jonas Gustavsson made 26 saves in his first hockey game of the season.
Charlotte did have the disadvantage of riding an overnight bus to Grand Rapids while the opposition had not played Saturday evening. Luke Pither, who has proved to be an excellent addition to the team having scored 12 points in his first 12 games of the AHL season left the ice in the second period, apparently injured.
Charlotte’s next road trip is to British Columbia where they face Abbotsford in back to back games. This is the longest road trip of the season.