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Farm Report: Checkers quickly gaining ground in playoff race

The defending champions are on their third winning streak of three or more games since Christmas and continue their run up the standings.

Jaylynn Nash/Charlotte Checkers

Checkers Recap

The Checkers enjoyed a strong weekend against the Hartford Wolf Pack and have now won three games in a row. Charlotte moved into fourth in the Atlantic Division and are 7-3 over their last ten games. The Checkers’ special team mastery continues, as Charlotte continues their hold as the third best power play unit in the league while moving into 2nd place with their penalty kill unit.

Charlotte dominated Hartford in their first game of the weekend with a 6-0 win. The game started with a strong first period with goals from Gustav Forsling, Morgan Geekie and Janne Kuokkanen. Charlotte kept the momentum rolling with a pair of goals from Julien Gauthier and David Gust in the second period. Oliwer Kaski added another with a few minutes left in the third period. Alex Nedeljkovic faced just 17 shots in his fourth shutout of the season.

In the second game of the weekend, Charlotte slid away with a 4-3 overtime win. After a back and forth first period, Hartford took a 1-0 lead but Geekie tied it up around five minutes later with his 17th of the season. After battling through the rest of the period, the game was tied 2-2 heading into the second intermission. Steven Lorentz put Charlotte up 3-2 early in the third period but Hartford battled back to tie the game. In overtime, Kuokkanen was the hero after scoring just over a minute into the extra frame.

The Checkers are now sitting at 27-17-3 for 57 points, with multiple games in hand over everyone above them in the division. They will be home for four more games this week, two each against Rochester and Springfield.

Swamp Rabbits Recap

The Greenville Swamp Rabbits continued their slide with a pair of losses and have just four wins in their last ten games. The Swamp Rabbits were outscored 11-3 in their pair of games against the Florida Everblades this past weekend, and although they remain in third place in the South Division, they are 21 points behind second-place Florida, one ahead of fourth-place Orlando and give up games in hand to everyone below them in the division.

The Swamp Rabbits will get reinforcements after Liam Pecararo returned from the Springfield Thunderbirds. Pecararo has been a strong force for Greenville with 33 points and 18 goals and was named an ECHL All-Star this year.