A night after coming back from a three-goal deficit to win against Grand Rapids, the Checkers came out strong in Peoria, winning 4-0 and taking the lead in the Western Conference with a record of 5-1-1.
Dan Ellis stopped 27 shots, taking first-star honors and earning his first shutout as a Checker. Jeremy Welsh scored his first two AHL goals for Charlotte, while Drayson Bowman scored for the fifth consecutive game, tying a franchise record.
Bowman, who leads the Checkers with six goals, all of which have come in his last five games, started the scoring 10 minutes into the first period when he took the puck off a faceoff win by Riley Nash and fired it home for the 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period, Welsh scored his first professional goal, with Chris Terry drawing the assist to extend his point streak to three games. After Peoria’s Ian Cole took a tripping penalty 3:06 into the third period, Welsh scored his second of the game when a Bobby Sanguinetti point shot hit the post and deflected high up into the air, with Welsh batting it in to put the Checkers up 3-0.
After the Rivermen took another penalty, Zac Dalpe picked up a Jerome Samson rebound to make the score 4-0.
Ellis was solid the rest of the way for the Checkers, who won for the second time in as many nights and now have an opportunity to sweep a three-in-three set for the first time in franchise history. Charlotte and Peoria will meet once again on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. ET.
Notes: Bowman has seven points (6G, 1A) in his last five games ... Defenseman Justin Faulk recorded an assist to take sole possesion of the team's scoring lead with nine points … Zach Boychuk's assistsed on Dalpe's goal, giving him points in six of the Checkers' seven games ... Forwards Jared Staal, Justin Soryal, Victor Rask and defenseman Justin Krueger were healthy scratches for Charlotte.