The past two weeks, the Charlotte Checkers have kept the good times rolling. The Checkers hit the road for three games in three nights and finished 2-1-0 to improve to 5-2-0 on the season. Charlotte headed up to Rochester to take on the Americans before heading to Toronto and playing their first ever game (and series) against the Marlies.
Charlotte topped Rochester 5-2 on Friday evening, thanks to a four goal explosion in the second period. Warren Foegele got on the score sheet for the first time since opening weekend. Charlotte also got help from the back end, with Roland McKeown and Trevor Carrick potting their first goals of the season. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 20 of 22 shots.
As for Saturday...it didn’t quite turn out as planned. The Checkers were blanked by the Marlies 4-0 in their first game ever facing each other. Marlies goaltender Garrett Sparks stopped all 24 shots that came his way and Mason Marchment scored two goals.
Nothing to see here...moving on!
Sunday, in their third game in as many days, the Checkers edged the Marlies 6-4. Valentin Zykov had an outstanding game, recording a four point night (two goals, two assists). Nedeljkovic made 28 saves on 32 shots in route to his fourth win of the season, and he has yet to record a loss. He hasn’t been outstanding, with his save percentage still sub-.900 but has made the necessary saves at the times needed to help him earn wins. He may have the early edge as the number one goalie moving forward.
Thought of the Week
My friend and colleague Brett Finger brought up the question of what the Carolina Hurricanes should do with Janne Kuokkanen. My two cents? I believe he has a place in the National Hockey League, but it remains to be seen if Bill Peters will continually use him correctly. He may be better off returning to Charlotte where he can thrive and develop until he has a solidified spot in the ‘Canes lineup.
Player of the Week
Lucas Wallmark. One goal and two assists in three games. Tied for first in the AHL in scoring. Hope the ‘Canes don’t call him up because I’m selfish.
Charlotte will now return home to Bojangles Coliseum for back to back games on Saturday and Sunday against the Utica Comets (Vancouver Canucks affiliate). These are the last two home games before the Checkers embark on a eight game road trip that will keep them away from Charlotte until November 21st.