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Checkers Corner: Slumping No More

Charlotte broke out of a small skid with a win over Hartford before the All-Star break.

Jacob Kupferman/Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte broke out of their 0-2-1 slump with a solid win over the Hartford Wolf Pack in a shortened week. It’s now a full on push for the playoffs which Charlotte will almost certainly find themselves in, barring an unthinkable meltdown.

Weekly Recap

Charlotte’s slump continued with a 5-3 loss to the Providence Bruins. Jake Bean scored a pair of goals for the Checkers but Charlotte couldn’t find the answer in net. Callum Booth was pulled after allowing three goals on ten shots and Scott Darling allowed two on ten shots in relief. Steven Lorentz scored his first AHL goal in 16 total games with Charlotte spanning the past two seasons.

Charlotte finally broke out of their funk with a resounding 5-2 win over Hartford. All-Star Andrew Poturalski scored the game’s opening goal before the Wolf Pack tied it up. Charlotte scored three goals including a goal from defenseman Haydn Fleury, his first of the season. Aleksi Saarela scored his 14th of the season and followed it up with his 15th on the empty net to seal the game.

Player(s) of the Week

With not many games played this week, there was not a standout player. Instead, the players of the week are Trevor Carrick and Andrew Poturalski who represented Charlotte at this weekend’s AHL All Star weekend. Poturalski participated in the Puck Control Relay, Accuracy Shooting and Breakaway Relay. Carrick participated in the Breakaway Relay event as well but also showed his skills in the Rapid Fire event. He finished third overall with a 99.4 miles per hour shot in the hardest shot competition.

In Monday night’s All-Star Challenge Tournament, Poturalski was the co-leading scorer for the Atlantic Division, with one goal and three assists in the Atlantic’s four games. The Atlantic couldn’t get past the North Division, though, finishing second in the tournament after a shootout loss to the North in the final (which followed what might have been the first scoreless regulation in the history of hockey all-star games).

Thought of the Week

As you may have seen, the Checkers are a streaky team. Charlotte has strung together six win-streaks of at least three games this season and it’s easy to see why they rest on top of the standings with All-Star weekend wrapping up.

With the most recent streak, Charlotte found itself on the opposite side of the score streak. A little adversity may go a long way. It was the longest slump of the season for Charlotte so far but they were able to dig themselves out of it before it became too much. The playoffs may not come as easy for the Checkers so finding ways to get themselves out of deficits could pay dividends once April comes around.

Looking Ahead

The Checkers return home this week after a brief break and take on the Providence Bruins on Friday and Saturday night. It’s the first two games of a four-game home-stand that will wrap up conclude with a pair of games against the Cleveland Monsters on Tuesday and Wednesday. It marks the first meeting between Charlotte and Cleveland this season.