Philippe Cornet scored 50 goals his three seasons with the Oklahoma City Barons.
On Saturday night, Cornet, now playing for Charlotte, scored the game-winning goal with 1:36 remaining as the Checkers rallied past the Barons 2-1 at the Cox Convention Center.
A 23-year-old left winger, Cornet was an American Hockey League All-Star with the Barons, helping Oklahoma City reach the Western Conference finals the past two seasons. The Edmonton Oilers, though, didn't re-sign the Val-Senneville, Quebec, product.
“Everyone in Oklahoma City was good to me. I still keep in touch with a lot of the players and coaches,” Cornet said. “It's always special when you score a goal late to win a game, but it was a little strange.”
Cornet signed with San Antonio in the offseason. Squeezed in a numbers game, not getting much ice time, the Rampage traded Cornet to Charlotte.
“My entire career has kind of been a roller coaster,” Cornet said. “I'm grateful I got a shot with Charlotte, a great team, a great organization.”
Cornet has scored 20 regular-season goals at the Cox Center, 23 including the playoffs. But Saturday's goal was his first against the Barons.
“Phil was a big part of this organization the first three years,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “It is kind of weird when a guy you had scores a game-winner on you. But Phil is that kind of player. He placed that shot really well on (goalie) Richard (Bachman).”
The Barons led 1-0 on rookie defenseman Martin Gernat's third goal of the season, all coming the past week. Charlotte tied it on a power-play goal late in the second period.