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Farm Report: Checkers rediscovering their winning ways

The AHL’s hottest team is on a 11-1 run over the past few weeks and have made up a ton of ground in the standings in the process.

Scott Kinser/Cal Sport Media via Charlotte Checkers

Checkers Recap

The Charlotte Checkers are hot. Actually, that might be an understatement. The Checkers are, like, inside a volcano in the middle of the desert in the middle of a hot summer day kind of hot. Charlotte has won five straight games and 11 of their last 12, a torrid run that has moved the Checkers into third in the Atlantic Division and 9th overall in the league standings. Their offense now sits top-ten in the league and they stand fifth in goals allowed.

Charlotte dominated the Hershey Bears in their pair of games this week, winning 4-1 and 5-4, respectively. After a strong 4-1 win in front of a sellout crowd on 1950s Night, Charlotte topped Hershey in the second game 5-4 in a back and forth game. Charlotte took a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission and then a 5-1 lead heading into the second intermission but Hershey dominated the third, scoring three unanswered goals but failing to tie the game. Janne Kuokkanen had a three assist night in the win.

Over the weekend, Charlotte won a thriller in a 4-3 shootout win on Saturday. With just 27 seconds left in the third period, Jake Bean scored to tie the game at three and force overtime. Steven Lorentz scored the overtime winner to keep the streak alive for Charlotte.

In the second game of the weekend, Charlotte dominated Toronto 7-3. Charlotte scored four straight before Toronto answered back with three of their own in the second period. Charlotte kept pushing, however, and pulled away with the win after three unanswered. Steven Lorentz had a pair of goals and Jake Bean added a pair of assists in the win. Alex Nedeljkovic only faced 20 shots in the offensive affair.

Speaking of Nedeljkovic, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Checkers goaltender is headed to the AHL All-Star Classic in Ontario, Calif., on January 26 and 27. Nedeljkovic will join teammate Jake Bean as the Checkers contingent to the game. It’s Nedeljkovic’s first All-Star nod and the third in team history, following Michael Leighton in 2017 and Justin Peters in 2013.

Swamp Rabbits Recap

The winning isn’t confined to the North Carolina side of the border these days. Greenville continues to roll as well, winning four straight and posting a 7-2-1 mark in their last ten games. The Swamp Rabbits swept their three game series against the Norfolk Admirals. Greenville sits third in the South Division with 46 points in 43 games, although they’ve played more games than all but one team in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference.

Greenville also announced a pair of trades over the past couple of days. On Sunday they picked up defenseman John Furgele from the Maine Mariners for future considerations, and on Monday they sent forward Mathieu Foget to the Indy Fuel in exchange for future considerations. Both players are well traveled; Furgele is joining his fourth ECHL squad, while Foget will be joining his sixth pro team in just his second full season.