By KP Kelly, Staff Writer
It’s a weekend Checkers’ fans and Caniacs won’t soon forget.
Sunday morning brought news of the lockout ending and concluded with a big win at PNC Arena. The first ever AHL game played at Canes’ home ice brought over 10,000 puck loving Carolinians together. Folks gathered as early at 9 a.m. to tailgate for the epic contest and fans weren’t disappointed, as the Checkers defeated the Norfolk Admirals 3-1.
Norfolk took an early lead on a power play goal by Patrick Maroon in the first. Brett Sutter was called for boarding and a game misconduct as a result on a hit on Jordan Hendry that led to the extra man advantage. However, Zac Dalpe scored a short-handed goal in the second (first goal scored at PNC Arena of the season) to even the contest.
Tim Wallace had the helper on Dalpe’s goal and Chris Terry’s game-winning goal in the third to take the lead. Dalpe gained his second point of the afternoon on Wallace’s goal in the third.
Although both Frederik Anderson (former Canes’ prospect) and Dan Ellis had 28 saves, Ellis was victorious with the win and first star of the game.
As I was leaving the arena (giddy as a little girl on Christmas morning), I saw a little man proudly holding a handmade sign that said, “I love you Charlotte Checkers” and smiled. This is hockey. This is what we have been missing in Raleigh. Here’s to a new start fans. Cheers to our hockey family!
Let’s Go Checkers! Let’s Go Canes!