The Charlotte Checkers split their first two games of the season and return to Charlotte this weekend for their Calder Cup banner raising ceremony and an opening series against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
In their first game of the week, the Checkers dropped a 5-3 decision against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Janne Kuokkanen’s return from injury was immediately felt as he got the scoring going just over a minute into the game. Then...it all went downhill. Hartford rambled off five goals in a row until they Checkers finally answered back with a pair of their own including a goal from Julien Gauthier. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped just 18 of 23 shots in a rough opening night performance.
In their second and final game of the week, the Checkers earned a 4-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds. Special teams earned Charlotte the victory with the penalty kill standing tall and stopping all seven Thunderbirds power play opportunities. Morgan Geekie earned his first goal of the season and Gauthier found the back of the net for the second time in as many games.
Speaking of Gauthier, the Canes recalled the rookie forward on Wednesday. Gauthier has taken strides in his game since his rookie season in Charlotte and impressed in the preseason and training camp this year. The Hurricanes press release on the move is at the end of the article.
Swamp Rabbits Roundup
The Swamp Rabbits season gets underway on October 12th against the Jacksonville Icemen (Winnipeg Jets affiliate) and the team is holding a watch party for fans in Greenville, SC at Dave & Busters.
Our season begins on October 12, and we want to kick off the 10th Anniversary season in style!— Greenville Swamp Rabbits (@SwampRabbits) October 9, 2019
All are invited to our first Swamp Rabbits Watch Party at @DnBGreenville at 6:30 this Saturday. Catch all of the action with @jckvoice on the call on the big-screen TVs! pic.twitter.com/NtojlDxlIr
In transaction news, the team received forward Cedric Lacroix and goaltenders Callum Booth and Jeremy Helvig in roster trims from Charlotte. Lacroix was acquired in August from the Wheeling Nailers in exchange for future considerations. The team also released defenseman Ryan Polin and forward Lincoln Griffin from training camp.
The Swamp Rabbits are also part of a nationally-recognized sports market. According to metrics that included average attendance, each team’s tenure, as well as each city’s economic standing, Greenville, South Carolina was named the second-best minor league market in the United States by Sports Business Journal.
CANES RECALL GAUTHIER FROM CHARLOTTE
Forward registered 41 points in 75 AHL games with the Checkers last season
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Julien Gauthier from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Gauthier, 22, is looking to make his NHL debut after skating in all six preseason games for Carolina in 2019. The 6’4”, 226-pound forward has scored a pair of goals in two AHL regular season games with the Checkers this season, after posting 41 points (27g, 14a) in 75 games with Charlotte in 2018-19. He added eight points (5g, 3a) in 17 AHL playoff games last season as the Checkers captured their first-ever Calder Cup championship. Gauthier has registered 68 points (45g, 23a) in 142 career AHL games with Charlotte. The Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., native represented his home country at the 2016 and 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships, winning silver in 2017. Gauthier was drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round, 21st overall, of the 2016 NHL Draft.