The Charlotte Checkers are in the midst of change with the call ups of Brock McGinn, Derek Ryan and Matt Tennyson to the Hurricanes. Without two of their top five leading scorers, the Checkers have lost four in a row (0-3-1) following a six-game winning streak.
The Checkers’ winning streak ended with a two-game sweep over the Iowa Wild on November 10 and 11. Following that, the Canes called up the three players, and the wheels fell off for the Checkers, who dropped games in Rockford and Milwaukee before a two-game sweep at the hands of San Antonio on Friday and Saturday.
The Checkers were outscored 11-4 over the course of the past four games as the newly assembled lines failed to gel. With McGinn and Ryan receiving playing time with the Hurricanes, the Checkers must find a way to get back to their scoring ways. Newly assigned Phil Di Giuseppe found his AHL scoring touch this week despite the losses, recording four points in four games (one goal, three assists).
On Tuesday, the Checkers will return home for a four game homestand against the Chicago Wolves (St. Louis Blues affiliate) and the Iowa Wild. The Checkers went 4-0 during their previous home stand, outscoring opponents 13-3.
The Checkers will receive help as puck-moving defenseman Ryan Murphy was sent to Charlotte on a conditioning stint on Monday morning. Murphy has recorded 65 points in 82 career games with Charlotte.
As part of the promotional schedule for the upcoming week, fans can purchase discounted tickets for Tuesday’s game against the Wolves to help support 173 local nonprofits. On Wednesday, fans who buy tickets may purchase $1 Bud Lights and receive a ticket to their next Wednesday home game on December 14th if the Checkers win.
Andrew Poturalski continued his terrific rookie season, adding a goal and two assists over the past four games. Poturalski is a gifted play-maker that makes those around him better and is rewarded with goals himself. Poturalski (five goals, eight assists) ranks 2nd amongst rookies in scoring and 28th overall in the American Hockey League.
It would not be surprising to see Poturalski receive consideration for the Dudley Garrett Memorial Award, awarded to the AHL’s outstanding rookie, at the end of the season if he continues at this pace.
Since Last We Met:
- November 10: Checkers 5, Iowa 4
- November 11: Checkers 4, Iowa 1
- November 12: Rockford 3, Checkers 0
- November 15: Milwaukee 3, Checkers 2 (OT)
- November 18: San Antonio 3, Checkers 1
- November 18: San Antonio 2, Checkers 1
Next for the Checkers (7-6-1-0, 15 pts, T-3 Midwest Div):
- November 22 and 23: home vs. Chicago
- November 26 and 27: home vs. Iowa
- November 30: at Stockton
- December 2: at Bakersfield
- December 3: at Ontario