The Charlotte Checkers announced in May they would be returning to the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League as part of the league’s realignment plan. That meant new opponents on this year’s schedule, which was released by the AHL yesterday afternoon.
The team will now face many team affiliates from Eastern Conference NHL teams with the only exception being the Utica Comets (Vancouver Canucks affiliate).
The 2017-18 season schedule is great for Checkers fans as well as Hurricanes fans looking to make the trek from Raleigh. Twenty-four of the Checkers’ 38 home games will be on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Of those, four are played on weekends where the Hurricanes are on the road, the opening home series against Bridgeport on October 13 and 14 and March 9 and 10 against Hartford, meaning you’ll have a few opportunities to watch the Checkers in person without sacrificing a Canes game to do so.
A 2 1⁄2 hour trip to Charlotte from the Triangle is feasible and worth the experience of Bojangles Coliseum, which offers an alternative to the gleaming bells and whistles of PNC Arena. The atmosphere in the smaller arena is great and the team looks to be even better this season with many young additions.
And besides, who wouldn’t want to visit your friendly, neighborhood Checkers writer (shameless plug)?
The Checkers will begin their season on the road against the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers) and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) on October 6th and October 7th. The team will travel back home and take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) in their home opener on Friday, October 13th.
Charlotte faces an early test in November by embarking on a brutal eight-game road trip. The team does not play a home game in November until the 21st. The schedule becomes simpler in December when they will play 8 out of 13 games at home, where they went 27-10-1 over the course of the 2016-17 season.
The latter half of the schedule also favors the Checkers as they get in to the month of March. In the last two weeks of March, Charlotte will only play five games with a break of four days followed by a break of five days the following week. In April, the Checkers will look to build off the home ice advantage they formed last year by wrapping up the season with four out of six games at home.
Overall, the schedule looks favorable for the Checkers. There are still roster concerns that will need to be addressed as the team moves closer to opening the season. The roster will be young, with many fresh faces that should help the team secure a playoff spot for a second consecutive season.
The full schedule is below. Enjoy!
Charlotte Checkers 2017-18 Schedule
|Tue.||12/12/2017||Lehigh Valley||Charlotte||7:00 PM|
|Wed.||12/13/2017||Lehigh Valley||Charlotte||7:00 PM|
|Fri.||12/29/2017||Charlotte||Lehigh Valley||7:05 PM|
|Sat.||12/30/2017||Charlotte||Lehigh Valley||7:05 PM|
|Fri.||2/2/2018||Charlotte||Lehigh Valley||7:05 PM|
|Wed.||2/7/2018||Charlotte||Lehigh Valley||7:05 PM|
|Tue.||4/3/2018||Lehigh Valley||Charlotte||7:00 PM|
|Wed.||4/4/2018||Lehigh Valley||Charlotte||7:00 PM|