It wasn’t the start that the Checkers were hoping for, as they fell 6-2 to the Texas Stars in their season opener.

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.

Score Sheet
The Stars had something else in mind, however, cashing in on a scramble in the slot to pot their fourth goal of the period with half a second remaining on the game clock. After another review, the goal was confirmed and the horn sounded.

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.

NOTES

Clark Bishop made his pro debut tonight, Lucas Wallmark made his debut in North America and Alex Nedeljkovic made his AHL debut … Valentin Zykov and Connor Brickley both notched their first points as Checkers … Andrew Poturalski led the team with five shots on goal … Charlotte dropped to 3-3-1 all time in season openers … Dating back to last season, the Checkers have lost four straight away from home and are 5-11-3 in their last 19 road games … Trevor Carrick and Patrick Brown each served as alternate captains
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.