Charlotte broke out of their slump this weekend by putting together a pair of wins but couldn’t complete the three game winning streak by dropping a stinker on Sunday. The Checkers, however, played three games in three nights on the road with Bojangles Coliseum invaded by NBA All-Star festivities.
Charlotte made their way to Springfield to begin the weekend and walloped the Thunderbirds 4-1. Charlotte peppered the Thunderbirds with shots, putting 37 on goalie Samuel Montembeault. Charlotte earned an early lead on the power play in the first period when Nick Schilkey scored his tenth goal of the season. Charlotte kept pouring it on and pushed their lead to three goals before Dryden Hunt broke Alex Nedeljkovic’s late in the third period with his 19th goal of the season.
The Checkers edged out another victory with a 3-2 win over the Providence Bruins on Saturday. Charlotte saw themselves take a three-goal lead once again thanks in part to Julien Gauthier’s 15th goal of the season. Charlotte saw the lead begin to dwindle early in the third period when Providence responded with a pair of goals less than a minute apart. However, Nedeljkovic stood his ground and made timely saves down the stretch to secure the win for the Checkers.
On Sunday, a tired Checkers squad fell 7-3 to Bridgeport. Charlotte took a 2-0 lead and then things began to fall apart. Bridgeport scored six unanswered goals late in the second and into the third period to send the Checkers packing. Josh Ho-Sang scored a hat trick and The Other Sebastian Aho scored a goal against the franchise that employs his more-famous namesake.
Thought of the Week
With Charlotte hosting NBA All-Star festivities, the city was able to prove its capable of hosting large scale sporting events. It has the infrastructure and accommodations to entertain visitors and attract return visitors.
Which raises the question: could Charlotte host the AHL All-Star Classic? It seems possible.
With the recent success of the team over the past three seasons and attendance increasing and remaining respectable, it could entice the league to host the event in the Queen City. The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic is set for Ontario, California but it makes you think about 2021 and beyond.
Player of the Week
Nick Schilkey earned this week’s player of the week honors. A reliable depth forward, Schilkey recorded four points (two goals, two assists) on the weekend. Schilkey has 25 points in 43 games this season and is shooting at a 16.67% clip.
The Checkers return to Charlotte for the beginning of their four-game homestand. Lehigh Valley visits for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. Canes Country will have coverage of Saturday night’s game.