Friday's opener saw the Charlotte Checkers edge the San Antonio Rampage by a 4-3 count, sending the Silver and Black to their third straight defeat and to the bottom of the Western Conference. After a scoreless opening period, Charlotte jumped out to 3-0 lead in the second on goals from Chris Terry, Aaron Palushaj, and Brody Sutter. The Terry and Palushaj scores came with the Checkers on the power play. Ryan Martindale got one back for the Rampage with twenty seconds remaining in the frame, just thirty-seven ticks after the Sutter goal. John McFarland and Greg Rallo drew the assists on Martindale's eighth of the season. McFarland would get a goal of his own early in the third, from Josh McFadden and Drew Shore, to pull the Rampage within one. San Antonio tied the game at the 13:19 mark when Matt Gilroy took a McFarland pass and beat Charlotte goaltender John Muse. Unfortunately, a tripping call on Jared Gomes forty seconds later set the plate for the dangerous Terry, who put yet another power-play marker past Michael Houser to give the Checkers the win. Muse finished with 29 saves to post the win, while Houser made 42 stops in a losing effort. Charlotte's power play went an impressive 3 for 6.
The fading Rampage struck back on Sunday, dealing a blow to the surging Checkers playoff chances. San Antonio skated to a 4-2 win on the strength of a pair of goals from Bobby Butler, who also added two assists. Butler opened the scoring with a shorthanded tally at the seventeen-minute mark of the first period. Michal Jordan replied for Charlotte with a power play goal early in the second. Butler notched his 21st a few minutes later, from Wade Megan and Josh McFadden, to give the Silver and Black a lead they would not relinquish. Jed Ortmeyer beat Mike Murphy at 12:20 of the middle frame to put the Rampage up by two. Butler and Greg Zanon combined to set up that goal. Charlotte cut into the lead when Victor Rask put the puck past Scott Clemmensen 3:37 into the final period. Clemmensen held the lead until Megan put the game away with 2:20 remaining, with Butler and Ortmeyer collecting the helpers. The helper gave Butler a team-leading 42 points. Clemmensen ended up with 31 saves to post his second AHL win of the season. Defensenman Jonathan Racine finished the game with a +3 rating.
The Rampage (26-29-3-6) will stop in Oklahoma City, for a Tuesday match with the Barons, on their way back to San Antonio, where they will play host to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday and again on Sunday.