Checkers clinch Calder Cup with 5-3 Game 5 victory

Checkers' Julien Gauthier comes from impressive lineage

The Charlotte Checkers are Calder Cup champs, following a 5-3 Game 5 victory over the Chicago Wolves Saturday night.

Following a heartbreaking loss in Game 1 of the series, the Checkers went on to win four games in a row to clinch the first title in the franchise's nine-year history.

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The clincher was even more wild, with a frantic last few minutes. The Checkers led 3-1 with barely 3 minutes to go, before the Wolves got a goal to put the heat on.

The Checkers seemed to ice it with an empty net goal, but the Wolves battled back to get yet another goal, narrowing the lead again at 4-3, but the Checkers scored again with just second to play, earning a 5-3 victory.

Andrew Poturalski scored his team-leading 11th and 12th goals of the playoffs in the win. He would later be named Calder Cup finals MVP.

Trevor Carrick and Morgan Geekie also put the puck in the back of the net.

The team announced it is hosting a fan celebration on Monday, June 10, at 7 p.m. at Bojangles' Coliseum.

Admission and parking are free for the event, which will feature a video presentation, remarks from team personnel, photo opportunities with the Calder Cup and an autograph session with Checkers players. Season ticket holders will have the opportunity to enter the coliseum at 6 p.m. before doors open to the general public at 6:30.