The Charlotte Checkers picked up a pair of wins over the weekend and extended their winning streak to three straight games. Charlotte has gone 8-2-0 in their last ten games and have now reached almost 90 points in the standings. The Checkers hold a three-point lead over the Syracuse Crunch for top team in the league with the same amount of games played.
The Checkers kicked off the weekend with a commanding 4-1 win over the Rochester Americans. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 28 out of 29 shots en route to the win. Martin Necas and Trevor Carrick each had three point nights to help the Checkers smash a strong Americans team. The Checkers were able to come away with the win despite struggling on the power play, going just 1-for-7 in many hand-gifted opportunities. Patrick Brown scored a pair of goals including an empty-netter to make his way up to the 15-goal mark on the season.
Charlotte continued their strong play with a 3-1 win over the Americans the following day. Bobby Sanguinetti found the back of the net for his first goal since his return to the Hurricanes organization. The game remained chippy throughout with a lot of penalties being exchanged throughout. The Americans failed to convert on a single one and went 0-for-9 with the man-advantage. Julien Gauthier and Aleksi Saarela also found the back of the net and Dustin Tokarski stopped an impressive 33 of 34 shots for his second win the Checkers. He has not lost a game since being acquired.
Thought of the Week
The loss of Janne Kuokkanen for the season could hurt the Checkers in the long run the deeper they go into the playoffs. Kuokkanen has been the Checkers most consistent forward outside of Andrew Poturalski over the past two seasons and it’s hard to find an immediate replacement. However, the Checkers addition of Tomas Jurco provides a nice stop gap in the meantime until Kuokkanen’s return next season. Jurco is a point per game player since the trade with six points (three goals, three assists) in six games. Without his addition, the Checkers could be reeling. Instead, the temporary fix works and can help round out the Checkers lines.
Player of the Week
This week’s player of the week goes to Trevor Carrick. The defenseman had four assists over the weekend and once again proved his value as a two-way defenseman. Carrick’s value can sometimes be overlooked in a farm system filled with exciting prospects but his value at the AHL level continues to be irreplaceable. He’s currently 10th among AHL defensemen in points with 39 points (8 goals, 31 assists) in 58 games.
Charlotte continues their homestand in the Queen City with an action packed week. The Checkers take on the Syracuse Crunch on Tuesday and Wednesday with AHL supremacy on the line. Charlotte will wrap up their week with Hartford Wolf Pack coming to town for a pair of games. The two teams will face off on Saturday and Sunday.