The Charlotte Checkers continue to roll and gain momentum, putting their slow start behind them as they’ve now won 10 of their last 12 games. Charlotte has moved from last in the Atlantic Division to 4th, just two points off third place and eight out of first with at least one game in hand on every team in the division. Charlotte remains the best penalty-killing team in the league, and now has a power play ranked in the top ten.
In the first game of the weekend, the Checkers dropped a 6-3 decision to the first-place Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday that snapped Charlotte’s six-game winning streak. Both teams battled back and forth in the first two periods but Hartford pulled away, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period. Jake Bean had a pair of assists and Julien Gauthier scored his 18th goal of the season.
The Checkers got right back up off the mat again the next night, though, topping the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-2. Max McCormick led the way with his first hat trick of the season. Eight players registered a point in the win and Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 23 shots.
On Tuesday night, the Checkers began a six-game homestand by celebrating their annual 1950s night with $1 and $2 ticket prices and deeply discounted concessions. The product on the ice put on a stellar performance, topping the Hershey Bears 4-1 in front of a sold-out crowd. Janne Kuokkanen had a strong night, recording three assists. Oliwer Kaski scored a pair of goals and Steven Lorentz added his 12th of the season. Anton Forsberg stopped 26 shots in the win, which put the Checkers into a playoff spot for the first time this season.
The Checkers will face the Bears again at home tonight before continuing their homestand this weekend with games Saturday and Sunday against the Toronto Marlies.
Swamp Rabbits Recap
The Swamp Rabbits slid in their three games this week, fwith a win and two losses.
In their first game, Greenville lost 3-1 to the Atlanta Gladiators behind a stellar 46 saves by Chris Nell. Despite Greenville scoring first, the Swamp Rabbits had no answer for Nell. In their second game of the week, Greenville dominated the Florida Everblades 6-2 in their second game of the week thanks in part to six different goal scorers. The division-leading South Carolina Stingrays came to town in the third game of the week and squeezed out a 2-1 narrow victory in a tight defensive game.
The Swamp Rabbits will host a watch party tonight at Dave and Buster’s in Greenville as the Rabbits face Norfolk. They return home this weekend to host the Admirals, where they will host ‘80s Night on Friday and DC Comics Night on Saturday.