Charlotte had a successful week, going 2-1-0 in their three games to move to within a point of claiming the Atlantic Division title. The Checkers, now with 100 points on the season, have just six games remaining before they begin their quest for the Calder Cup.
Charlotte began the week with a 4-0 beatdown of Bridgeport. Andrew Poturalski notched a pair of goals and Haydn Fleury added two assists. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 23 shots for his fourth shutout of the season. Charlotte’s Patrick Brown opened the scoring early in the first period and the Checkers well-balanced attack continued into the second period with a trio of goals.
The Checkers added another win to their victory column with a 4-1 win over Hartford. Charlotte got on the board first with Stelio Mattheos’ first professional goal. Sean Day tied it up for Hartford with under a minute to go in the second. However, a Checkers offensive outburst in the third period added separation and secured the Charlotte win. Dustin Tokarski stopped 16 of 17 shots.
Charlotte lost 2-1 in their third and final match-up of the week. Bridgeport pulled ahead with a pair of goals including Steve Bernier’s 23rd of the season. Julien Gauthier struck with under two minutes to go but Charlotte could not mount a comeback. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 25 out of 27 shots.
Player of the Week
This week’s player of the week goes to Alex Nedeljkovic. Nedeljkovic stopped 48 of 50 shots this week despite a 1-1-0 record. On Monday, the Checkers goaltender was named AHL goaltender of the month for his ridiculous March. Nedeljkovic went 6-2-1 in the month, with a 1.46 goals against average and a .945 save percentage and two shutouts.
Thought of the Week
It’s truly impressive and a testament to the talent on this team that the Checkers have reached the 100 point plateau. Charlotte’s deep defense, consistent offense and dynamic goaltending have all got the team to this point. It seems anything short of the Calder Cup final may be disappointing for the Checkers without putting too much pressure on the team. This may be Charlotte’s best shot at a Calder Cup in franchise history.
The Checkers take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tonight at home and face off again on Wednesday. Charlotte will then turn its attention to the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday and Sunday. Also, your alert to book your tickets in advance: POOCH PARTY IS ON APRIL 7TH. Bring your dog to the final regular season home game of the season!