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Amerks fall to Checkers for fourth straight time this season

The Rochester American have seen enough of the Charlotte Checkers this season.

The Amerks, who began the 2018-19 season with two losses at home to the Checkers, finished 0-4 against Charlotte in regular season games after Saturday night's 3-1 loss at Bojangles Coliseum in North Carolina.

The second straight loss in Charlotte was only the fifth time all season that Rochester has lost two or more games in a row. Twice it's been at the hands of the Checkers.

They never led against the Checkers, who own the best record in the American Hockey League 41-15-7 for 89 points. Rochester, second to Syracuse in the AHL's North Division, fell to 39-20-5. They went into the night one point behind the Crunch, who played Binghamton at home.

Julian Gauthier gave Charlotte the lead with an unassisted goal with 31 seconds left in the opening period. Kevin Porter tied it for Rochester with his ninth of the season at 2:49 of the second. C.J. Smith, his 29th, and Zach Redmond, his 28th, assisted on the Rochester goal.

Charlotte went back in front at 11:40 of the second when veteran defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti scored his first of the season. The former American was playing in only his 19th game for Charlotte. Tomas Jurco and Patrick Brown assisted on what turned out to be the game-winner.

Aleksi Saarela added an insurance goal, his 22nd of the season, on the power play at 9:59 of the third with Nick Schilkey and Trevor Carrick assisted.

Defenseman William Borgen of the Amerks and Clark Bishop of the Checker picked up fighting majors after time ran out at the close of the first period.

They were back at it with 2:02 left in the second period when each picked up a roughing minor and Bishop was called for boarding on the same play.

Rochester outshot the Checkers, 34-22, including 25-14 in the final two periods, but Charlotte goalie Dustin Tokarski held them off with 33 saves as he brought his record to 12-6-2 on the season.

Scott Wedgewood (25-12-2) had 19 saves for Rochester.

Victor Olofsson, who leads the team in scoring with 24 goals and 29 assists is the first Rochester player to reach the 50-point mark since Buffalo native Cole Schneider during the 2016-17 season.

Rochester was outscored 17-6 overall in losing all four games to Charlotte this season.

The Amerks will be home against the Cleveland Monsters on Tuesday night then play on the road twice against the Toronto Marlies on Saturday and Sunday at Coca-Cola Coliseum.

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