The Checkers have slipped below .500 after a rough weekend against the Cleveland Monsters and have now lost three games in a row. The departures of members of the team’s top-nine has started to sink in as the team now ranks 22nd in goals for and the Checkers are now 24th in the league standings.
The Checkers dropped an overtime decision in their first game of the week in a tight affair. Cleveland got on the board first just minutes into the first period but Charlotte responded minutes later as Eetu Luostarinen continued his solid start with his fifth goal of the season. Cleveland captain and former Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe found the back of the net for the Monsters in overtime to give Cleveland the 2-1 win. Alex Nedeljkovic has yet to find his first win of the season but had an improved performance and posted 31 saves on 33 shots.
A day later, the Checkers fell apart against the Monsters and were thrashed 5-1. Anton Forsberg lost his first game of the season and only made 23 saves on 28 shots. Steven Lorentz scored the lone goal for Charlotte on a night in which the Checkers attack barely mustered an effort with just 23 shots. Nine players mustered a point against the Checkers goaltending and defense and a pair of players had multi-point games.
The answers remain few and far between for the Checkers with their top goaltender struggling, a stagnant offense and a defense that ends up too often in their own end. Charlotte will need to find answers quickly in November before bad habits become the norm.
Looking for an offensive shot in the arm, the Checkers recalled Cedric Lacroix from Greenville on Monday. The second-year pro posted points in seven of the the Swamp Rabbits’ first ten games, including five goals and three assists. Lacroix was in the Checkers’ training camp but was sent to Greenville before the season opener.
Swamp Rabbits Roundup
The Swamp Rabbits went 1-3 on the week with a pair of losses to the Tulsa Oilers. The Swamp Rabbits lost the first game of the week in a game they’d like to forget, losing 8-2. They couldn’t muster a win but kept the game close in the rematch with the Oilers and fell 3-2. Greenville topped the Jacksonville Icemen in a 5-3 win for their only win of the week. In the final game of the week, Greenville lost a wild 7-6 match-up against the Atlanta Gladiators. The lone bright spot of the week was forward Matt Marcinew who had a productive six points in four games on the week.
Despite four straight losses, the Swamp Rabbits’ 5-5-0 record is good for second place in the South Division of the ECHL, two points behind the first-place South Carolina Stingrays who have four games in hand.