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Charlotte Checkers Weekend Roundup: Slow Start Continues after Weekend Split

The Checkers recorded their first win of the year, but still find themselves looking up at .500.

NHL: Preseason-Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Checkers split their series against the Iowa Wild this weekend and continued their slow start to the season with a record of 1-3-0.

The Checkers exploded for a Friday night fireworks show, torching the Wild for eight goals and recording their first win of the season. Andrew Poturalski continued his hot start to the season, recording four points on the night (2 goals, 2 assists). This was one point shy of tying the franchise record of five points in a single game recorded by Zach Boychuk during the 2013-14 season. Poturalski leads all Checkers players in scoring with six points.

The Checkers would follow that resounding win with a loss against the Wild the following night by a score of 2-1. Derek Ryan scored the lone goal for the Checkers, a short-handed tally in the first period. Ryan has also had a great start to the season, recording five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in the first four games of the season.

The Checkers return home this week for a back-to-back series against top prospect Anthony Mantha and the Grand Rapids Griffins (4-0-1) on Friday and Saturday. Mantha has recorded six goals in six games to start the season. The Checkers went 2-4 against the Griffins during the 2015-16 season.

Analysis

  • Although it won’t be an easy task against a team that has had a great start to the season, the Checkers must record a win against the Griffins this weekend. Getting too far into a hole this early in the season could be troubling for the Checkers’ playoff aspirations.
  • The top six forwards for the Checkers have been great despite the current look of the standings. The top six forwards have scored a combined nine goals compared to the bottom six’s total of three. The Checkers need Sergey Tolchinsky and Lucas Wallmark to be more productive if they are to get out of this early season slump.