DULUTH, GA—For the fifth game in a row, the Charlotte Checkers scored at least six goals as they downed the Gwinnett Gladiators, 6-3, on Thursday night. Daniel Tkaczuk collected five points, including a hat trick and Randy Rowe added a goal and two assists in his first game of the season.
Frank Doyle stopped 33 of 36 shots for his third victory in three tries and the Checkers have now scored 32 goals in their five-game win streak, an average of 6.4 goals per game over that span. The team has now picked up points in the last seven games (6-0-1).
For the tenth time in this early season, Charlotte got on the board first. Just one minute into the contest, Randy Rowe grabbed the loose puck behind the Gwinnett net and dished it out front to Tkaczuk who beat Gladiators goaltender Danny Taylor over the shoulder for his third of the season.
The game remained 1-0 from the first minute of the game until the third period, when the teams combined for eight more goals.
The Checkers got goals from rookie Jean-Philipp Chabot and another from Tkaczuk before Gwinnett scored to make it 3-1 with just under nine minutes to play.
Just three minutes later, Rowe took a pass from Tkaczuk and buried it on the wrap-around for his first goal of the season and third point of the night.
Gwinnett would make it close, however, when Jason Lawrence, who was traded from Charlotte to Gwinnett prior to the game scored his second of the season and Tom Zanoski added another to bring the score to 4-3.
The Checkers responded just over a minute later and put the game away on an empty-net goal by rookie Matt Schepke, his fourth in the last three games and ninth of the season.
Tkaczuk would add another with 19 seconds to play on a deflection to earn the hat trick and seal the 6-3 Charlotte victory.
Tkaczuk’s five-point effort matches the most by a Checker this season. Tyler Doig recorded five points in a 7-0 win over South Carolina last Wednesday.
The Checkers (10-3-2-0) will travel again to Gwinnett on Saturday before returning home to host the Gladiators on Sunday, Nov. 29 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Game time is 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: The Checkers are 4-1-1 on the road this season…Charlotte is the highest-scoring team in the ECHL with 4.33 goals per game (65 goals in 15 games)…Tkaczuk now has 13 points (5g, 8a) in seven games and is on a five-game point streak (5g, 5a)…Kenny Roche has six goals in his last five games…Michel Leveille leads the team in scoring with 22 pts (10g, 12a) in 15 games…Matt Schepke has four goals in his last three games…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)…Trevor Glass remains on the 21-day injured reserve.