Charlotte dropped a pair of games over the weekend as they struggle to keep their head above water amid massive roster changes - and losing Morgan Geekie to the big club doesn’t help either. Losers of seven of their last ten games is not an ideal situation for Charlotte in order to keep their footing in the playoff race.
In their first game of the week, Charlotte dropped a tight 2-1 decision to the Utica Comets. Charlotte got on the board early as Alexis D’Aoust got his first goal as a Checker. Keith Kinkaid played well and stopped 29 shots but Reid Boucher’s goal in the second period was the difference and enough to give Utica the win.
Charlotte dropped their second game of the week 3-2 in overtime despite owning an early 2-0 lead. Boucher once again struck, this time twice for his 33rd and 34th goals of the season. Kole Lind scored in overtime to give Utica the series sweep.
A win-win situation is ahead for the Checkers, though: the Hurricanes have activated goaltender Petr Mrazek after missing a few games with an upper-body injury and have returned Alex Nedeljkovic to Charlotte. The Checkers will get their star goalie back as they continue their push and the Hurricanes get veteran experience in a tight playoff race. The Checkers also signed Swamp Rabbits forward Kamerin Nault to a professional tryout contract. Nault has 34 points for Greenville this season.
Additionally, the Checkers signed center Max Zimmer to an amateur tryout. Zimmer, selected by the Hurricanes in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft, finished his senior season at the University of Wisconsin last week, and the Hurricanes have until August 15 to sign him to an ELC or else he will become an unrestricted free agent.
The next few games are important for the Checkers as they complete their homestand. Charlotte will take on Cleveland for a pair of games in the middle of the week before finishing the week with a pair of games against Providence over the weekend.
Swamp Rabbits Recap
Greenville won two of three this week but still remains far behind in the division standings. The Swamp Rabbits thrashed Orlando 7-2 but dropped a 4-1 decision to the Florida Everblades. Greenville rounded out the week with a 2-1 win over the Jacksonville Icemen.