Both teams came out flying in the first period, combining to fire 38 shots on goal. The Stars got on the board first, with Justin Dowling finishing a two-on-one rush seven minutes in.
The rest of the period would stand as a stalemate until Nick Ebert added another one for the home team with just a shade over one minute to go in the frame. The Stars kept pushing down the stretch and the puck found its way into the Charlotte net again with 20 seconds remaining. Despite appearing to be kicked in, the goal was upheld after a review and it looked like the Checkers would head into the intermission down three.
Rookie netminder Alex Nedeljkovic, making his first career AHL start, saw his night come to an end after the first, as veteran Michael Leighton took over between the pipes for the remainder of regulation.
Checkers captain Derek Ryan swung the momentum midway through the second, putting the visitors on the board with a skillful deflection of a Trevor Carrick point blast on the power play. But the Stars continued to roll, adding two more late-period goals to secure a 6-1 advantage through 40 minutes.
The Checkers showed a sign of life early on in the third, with Patrick Brown throwing a wrister on goal from the point that was redirected by Andrew Poturalski over the glove of Stars goalie Maxime Legace. Charlotte couldn’t spark a rally, though, mustering just eight shots on goal in the third and falling to Texas by a final score of 6-2.
Charlotte will get a shot at redemption tomorrow, as the two teams will square off in a rematch.