Chris Terry had the best offensive week of any Charlotte Checkers forward. After being a key contributor with regulation goals, Terry helped the Checkers win the shootout twice to take four points from Binghamton. Would games against the Syracuse Crunch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins go as well as the games against the Crunch did? Find out after the jump.
A tough four game stretch of games loomed for the Junior Canes this week. With games on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Checkers stamina would be tested for sure. Charlotte welcomed defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti back from injury. The former New York Rangers first round draft pick returned to the lineup to face Binghamton this week. His speed and offensive prowess at the point had been missed, but his return is a bright spot for Charlotte. Chris Terry shouldered much of the scoring load this week en route to another split- two wins and two losses.
Wed. March 16th vs. Binghamton W SO 2-1 2,554
Fri. March 18th vs. Binghamton W SO 3-2 5,908
Sat. March 19th vs. Syracuse L 2-6 5,639
Sun. March 20th. vs. WBS L 1-2 7,772
East Division Standings (As of Sun. March 20th @ 11:15 P.M.):
x Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
*As noted previously, Bobby Sanguinetti returned to the lineup this week. He picked up one assist in his return, on the lone Charlotte goal against the Penguins on Sunday.
*Chris Terry shouldered much of the scoring load this week. He scored three times, including a goal with five seconds remaining on Sunday to break the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shutout.
* Bryan Rodney continued to show offensive prowess this week. He scored his ninth goal of the season, and chipped in an assist on the Terry goal on Sunday, and an assist on Friday on a Matsumoto goal.
*Justin Pogge was pulled once in favor of Mike Murphy. Pogge was gone after allowing six goals on 30 shots against the Crunch on Saturday night. He gave way to Murphy who made seven saves on seven Syracuse shots. On Sunday,
Pogge was yanked after giving up a goal on twelve shots. Murphy came in, and went on to allow one goal on nineteen shots. Pogge came in after Murphy left the game early with an apparent injury. Pogge was saddled with both losses. Both wins over Binghamton came courtesy of Mike Murphy.
(UPDATE Monday: It appears that Bobby Goepfert has been recalled, apparently to fill in for Murphy.)
*It was good to have Nick Dodge back from injury. The forward added a goal and an assist to his season totals.
* Zac Dalpe scored a big shootout goal and added an assist
*Zach Boychuk added an assist to his totals this week
* On top of his impressive three goals, Terry tallied an assist
*The Checkers powerplay went 2 for 18 this week
*On the flip side, the Charlotte kill went 19 for 22 on the week
It is good to finally see the Checkers picking up the extra point by winning some shootouts. Another win over the weekend would have been very nice, but the Checkers will take another split. Chris Terry shouldered much of the scoring load, and handled it well. Mike Murphy continues to prove that he is a big game goalie, Charlotte will need to ride his good play into the playoffs. Having Bobby Sanguinetti helps the powerplay almost as much as it helps the defense. Nick Dodge returning adds a gritty third line center, and a key penalty killer. Charlotte has to find a way to put some more pucks in the net though. The scoring pace is a bit troubling, but when and if Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk catch fire, they will join the consistent scoring of Terry and Matsumoto, and that will be dangerous. Bryan Rodney has elevated his offensive game of late, and the Checkers are playing some good hockey. The loss to the Crunch hurts, but losing by one goal to a team that has already clinched a playoff berth in the Penguins, is not as hard of a pill to swallow.
Tues. March 22nd vs. Adirondack 7:00 P.M
Fri. March. 25 @ Connecticut 7:00 P.M.
Sat. March 26th @ Portland 7:00 P.M
Sun. March 27th vs. Norfolk
All of these games will be key for Charlotte. Picking up points at all costs will be the mantra, but keep your eyes peeled for what promises to be a great game on Sunday. The Checkers and Admirals have two games remaining against one another, and both will be in Time Warner Cable Arena. The Checkers need to take care of the Admirals, who always play the Junior Canes tough. The division rival is an important stepping stool to the top of the division, and the Checkers desperately need points to keep pace with Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers appeared in seven games for the ECHL Checkers a couple years ago when he was coming through the system. The defenseman collected five points (1 g, 4 A) in his short stay.
Some players currently in the Hurricane's system have passed through ECHL Charlotte before. Ethan Graham and Bryan Rodney are two that come to mind, but do you guys remember Dwight Helminen? The forward appeared in 23 games for the Hurricanes in 08-09, and spent even more time as a member of the Albany River Rats. The forward tallied two points in his stay with Carolina. In 04-05, Helminen found himself playing in 28 games for the ECHL Checkers when he was coming through the New York Ranger's system.
Dwight Helminen, the ECHL Checker AND Carolina Hurricane Alumni is currently playing in which hockey league?