Yep, calorie-loading works, especially if you notice a dip in training energy. The argument could be made that it shouldn't be necessary if training and nutrition is properly managed along the way anyhow, but it still does work.
The concept of regularly occuring deloads has been around for ages. For example, Vince Gironda talked about "train 21 days, rest 7" back in the 1960s.
Of course, there's the related debate as to whether a total rest day (doing nothing at all) is more effective than a day of active recovery (easier training with significantly-reduced intensity/load/volume, different exercises, mobility work, yoga class, etc.). I think blending all methods on a regular basis - training days, active recovery, and total rest - is the best plan long-term.