Checkers Double-Up Phantoms 6-3

Ethan Samson Scores First Pro Goal

February 25, 2024

Charlotte, NC – Ethan Samson struck for his first career professional goal in the first period but the Charlotte Checkers raced past the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6-3 on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a two-game weekend set. Gerry Mayhew (12th, 13th) tagged his former team for a pair of power-play goals while Cam Morrison (5th, 6th) also struck twice for the Checkers.

Lehigh Valley (22-20-7) also received markers from Adam Brooks (3rd) and Brendan Furry (4th) while Cooper Marody tacked on two more assists extending his team lead to 30 helpers and 43 points.

After a furious rally in the third period on Saturday to earn a 6-5 overtime victory in the opener of the series, the Phantoms weren’t able to repeat the same kind of effort. Lehigh Valley offered only 13 shots on goal in the game to set a new team record breaking the former mark of 14 shots on goal on February 11, 2022 against Hershey. The franchise record for fewest shots in a game remains 12 shots on goal by the Philadelphia Phantoms in March of 2001 in a game at the St. John’s Maple Leafs.

Charlotte (25-20-6) opened the scoring via a fortuitous bounce on a dump-in that caromed viciously off the end-boards and straight out to the slot in front of a vacated net for Mayhew to pounce on the power-play conversion. Phantoms’ goaltender Parker Gahagen had properly gone back behind the cage to play the dump-in but before it arrived to him the hard-around hit something on the boards and took an unexpected deflection.

The Checkers boosted its lead to 2-0 just 33 seconds later when Rasmus Asplund and Alexander True slipped past the defense and connected on their 2-on-1.

Ethan Samson finally broke through for his first as a pro when he blasted a one-timer from the right dot past Spencer Knight. Marody had drawn a crowd at the high-slot thus leaving Samson open at the side with 4:32 remaining in the first.

Early in the second period, Marody dug the puck away from the corner and connected with Adam Brooks who carried to the net from the right of the cage and then put in his own rebound after receiving the puck again off the pads of Knight. His equalizer at 2:17 of the second period forged a 2-2 tie.

Charlotte took the lead again just over four minutes later on a drive from the left boards by Lucas Carlsson (15th) whose blast to the upper-far corner came as the result of a sustained O-Zone push for the Checkers.

Mayhew’s second power-play conversion was of a more traditional variety at 14:27 into the second period and pushed the Checkers advantage to 4-2.

Lehigh Valley surged back once again with Brendan Furry speeding past the defense on a breakaway. His backhander was denied by Knight but Bobby Brink and Victor Mete set up Furry for another try again, this time from the left circle, where he powered his fourth of the year past Knight with 5:11 left in the second to pull the Phantoms within a goal again at 4-3.

The Checkers scored a pivotal goal at the end of the second period when they made sure to play to the horn. Patrick Khodorenko found Cam Morrison unguarded at the net-front who blasted his fourth of the season with just 0.6 seconds remaining in the frame to give Charlotte a 5-3 advantage into the second intermission.

Morrison sped past the Phantoms defense to win a race to a long bank off the end-boards. His second goal of the game at 4:17 into the third provided Charlotte with a 6-3 win.

It was only Charlotte’s second regulation win of the season against the Phantoms in seven tries. Lehigh Valley took two of four points in North Carolina and is now 4-2-1 against the Checkers this year. The Phantoms are 2-1-0 on their current four-game road-swing which concludes on Friday night at the Utica Comets.

The Phantoms return to PPL Center on Saturday, March 2 against the Bridgeport Islanders on Hockey is for Everyone Night and then host the Hershey Bears on Sunday, March 3 at 3:05 p.m. on meLVin’s Birthday!

1st 11:32 – CLT, G. Mayhew (12) (R. McAllister, U. Balinskis) (PP) (0-1)
1st 12:05 – CLT, A. True (2) (R. Asplund, G. Mayhew) (0-2)
1st 15:28 – LV, E. Samson (1) (C. Marody, V. Mete) (1-2)

2nd 2:17 – LV, A. Brooks (3) (C. Marody) (2-2)
2nd 6:25 – CLT, L. Carlsson (15) (C. Fitzgerald, G. Mayhew) (2-3)
2nd 14:27 – CLT, G. Mayhew (13) (R. Asplund, L. Carlsson) (PP) (2-4)
2nd 14:49 – LV, B. Furry (4) (B. Brink, V. Mete) (3-4)
2nd 19:59 – CLT, C. Morrison (4) (P. Khodorenko, P. Giles) (3-5)

3rd 4:17 – CLT, C. Morrison (5) (P. Giles) (3-6)

LV 13 – CLT 34

LV 0/3, CLT 2/6

LV – P. Gahagen (L) (28/34) (5-6-3)
CLT – S. Knight (W) (10/13) (17-12-4)

Lehigh Valley (22-20-7)
Charlotte (25-20-6)

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Friday, March 1 (7:05) – Phantoms at Utica Comets
Saturday, March 2 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders — Hockey is for Everyone, SNHL ft. DJ Brad Scott
Sunday, March 3 (3:05) vs. Hershey Bears — meLVin’s Birthday, Post-game skate with players presented by NJM Insurance, Faith Night

Friday, March 8 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Berks Dollar Dogs!