WINNIPEG – Charlotte Checkers (34-26-3-4) rookie Erik Karlsson scored twice to help his team to a 6-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose (21-37-4-5) at MTS Centre on Saturday. With the loss, the Moose see their two-game win streak come to an end.
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Charlotte struck first 5:36 into the game as Karlsson beat Moose goalie Eric Comrie blocker side for his second goal of the season.
The Moose had a handful of chances to tie the game on a pair of two-man advantages mid-frame but wasted the opportunities.
The Checkers added to their lead in the second by scoring two goals in the opening 1:28 of the period. Derek Ryan squeaked his 22nd through Comrie’s five-hole less than a minute into the frame. Derek Arnold then chased Comrie from the crease by making it 3-0. Comrie made six saves off nine shots before he was relieved from his duties by Connor Hellebuyck.
Manitoba responded with two goals of its own late in the second period. Ben Walker got the Moose on the board at the 18:19 mark with his first of the season. Scott Kosmachuk then slammed a Dan DeSalvo rebound past Checkers’ goalie John Muse with 21 seconds left in the frame to bring Manitoba within one. The goal came in Kosmachuk’s first game back from his stint with the NHL’s Winniepg Jets. It was also the forward’s 15th of the year.
Charlotte stopped the comeback attempt in the third with Karlsson’s second of the night 2:08 into the period. The Checkers added a Sergey Tolchinsky goal less than five minutes later to make it 5-2. Kyle Hagel sealed the victory by sweeping the puck into an empty net in the final 60 seconds.
Prior to the game, Manitoba signed forward Brandon Denham to an amateur tryout agreement. The 24-year-old Milton, ON native scored a career high 22 goals and 20 assists in 39 games this season with the NCAA Division I’s Robert Morris University. He’s racked up a total of 43 goals and 55 assists in 154 games during his four year college career. Denham did not dress against Charlotte on Saturday.
The Moose close out their four game homestand Monday night with a rematch against the Checkers.