With Game 5 tonight at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, Canes Country will be sending two of our own to cover the action. Brian LeBlanc will be manning the live game blog (which will be up by 6:30), and LTD will be capturing images of the players as they battle hard to gain the advantage in the 7-game series. The teams will head back up to Hershey for the final two matches.
A Hurricanes contingent will also be present in the building, with both familiar Canes writer Paul Branecky and the N&O's Chip Alexander joining Brian on press row. Also on hand, many of the decision makers from 1400 Edwards Mill Road watching from above. If the Checkers are not able to beat the Bears and advance to the next round, this is the last professional hockey we'll see in North Carolina till next season.
If you aren't able to get to Charlotte tonight, you can listen free at AHLLive (select the "Radio" tab) or pay the $9.99 fee to watch online. Gametime is 7pm. From the video highlights I've seen, especially those in the New14 piece below, this will be a battle.
To get you up to speed, here are several game previews and interviews with the players and coaches:
- Experience Key for Checkers - Paul Branecky, Tracking the Storm Blog As it meets Hershey for the second consecutive season in the playoffs, the Carolina Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate is feeling more prepared
- Expect another close game tonight | CharlotteObserver.com Hard to get more evenly matched teams than the Charlotte Checkers and the Hershey Bears.
- Checkers-Bears series heading into weekend games - News14.com Mike Solarte does a great job in this news feature on the Checkers-Bears series.
- Players converge on Checkers team - Chip Alexander, NewsObserver.com Two weeks ago, Drayson Bowman, Justin Faulk and Mike Murphy didn't know they'd soon be in a tight battle vs the Hershey Bears in the Calder Cup Playoffs in Charlotte.
- News from Hershey's side of the ice: Hershey Bears, Charlotte Checkers eye Game 5 | Tim Leone, PennLive.com With AHL playoff series tied 2-2, Bears and Checkers play one more at Time Warner Cable Arena before returning to Giant Center for Games 6 and 7.