The Charlotte Checkers overcame an early two-goal deficit to beat the Belleville Senators 4-2 Tuesday night.
Belleville got goals from Ethan Werek and Max Reinhart while Chris Driedger made 29 saves in his first start of the season. Jaane Kuokkenen had four points for the Checkers as Aleksi Saarela (2), Brenden Kichton and Kuokkenen had goals for the hosts while Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 21 shots.
The Sens jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead as Werek grabbed his sixth goal of the season just 2:01 in as his one-timer off of a Francis Perron centering pass flew by Nedeljkovic before Reinhart doubled the lead 28 seconds later with a long shot from the blue line.
But Charlotte slowly started chipping away as Kichton’s power play goal at 3:22 of the first cut the lead in half while Saarela’s first goal of the game at 17:24 of the second tied things at 2-2.
Saarela’s second, and the eventual game-winner, came at 8:22 of the final frame before Kuokkenen, who had assisted on the previous three goals, scored his first of the night into an empty net with 10.9 seconds to play.
Belleville failed to convert on three power play opportunities while Charlotte went 2-for-4. The Sens lost forward Max McCormick for the game at 16:54 of the first as he was assessed 24 penalty minutes and a game misconduct for abuse of officials.
The two teams will complete their season series Wednesday night at 7pm. CJBQ 800 AM will have the broadcast with Jack Miller starting at 6:50.