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Weekly Report: Oct. 21, 2013

Charlotte Checkers Mike Murphy
After two weeks off, the Checkers finally played their first home games of the season at Time Warner Cable Arena last weekend, though they did not go as well as hoped.

With losses of 3-1 and 7-2 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, Charlotte came up empty in two games against the Iowa Wild, dropping their early-season record to an even 2-2-0. That’s left the team five points back of the division lead, though its four games are at least two fewer than any other team in the West.

A tough opening schedule continues when the team departs for a six-game, 10-day road trip that will mark its longest of the season in terms of consecutive days away from home later this week. The trip starts this Friday with three games in three nights in three different cities – Grand Rapids, Rockford and Chicago. The Checkers then repeat part of that trip by starting a back-to-back in Grand Rapids and Rockford on Wednesday before finishing things up in San Antonio next Saturday.

The Checkers next return home to play Chicago on Nov. 7, starting a four-game home stand.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    2-2-0
  • Home record
    0-2-0
  • Road record
    2-0-0
  • Last week's record
    0-2-0
  • Last 10 games
    2-2-0
  • Division Standings
    4th
  • Conference Standings
    12th
  • League Standings
    22nd

Iowa 3, Checkers 1

Charlotte fell into a 2-0 hole in its home opener against the Iowa Wild on Saturday and couldn't recover in an eventual 3-1 loss. Chris Terry finally broke through with his second goal of the season to bring the Checkers within one goal with six minutes remaining in the third period, but Iowa's Zack Phillips added an insurance goal for the visitors, who received 33 saves from goalie Johan Gustafsson. Mike Murphy made 24 saves for Charlotte, which suffered its first loss in three games and fell to 2-2-0 all-time in home openers at Time Warner Cable Arena. Full recap

Iowa 7, Checkers 2

Iowa scored its first goal just 44 seconds into the first period and never looked back in a 7-2 victory over Charlotte at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday. Mark Flood and Chris Terry each scored their team-leading third goals of the season for the Checkers, who lost each of their first two home games of the season after winning their first two on the road two weeks earlier. Starting goaltender Mike Murphy allowed four goals on 20 shots before giving way to backup Jesse Deckert, who stopped 10 of 13 in his AHL debut. The winless weekend marked the first time the Checkers had started 0-2 at home since their inaugural season in 2010-11. Full recap

Notables

Matt Corrente
  • Just a few weeks into his tenure with the Checkers, defenseman Matt Corrente, a.k.a. "Rambo," already becoming known for his toughness. Read more

Last Week's News

Floodgates Open

Checkers defenseman Mark Flood scored his third goal in four games on Sunday, tying him with Chris Terry for the team lead. The 29-year-old defenseman is in a four-way tie for second in the AHL in goal scoring by defensemen and has already surpassed his total of one goal from 52 KHL games with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl last season.

Earlier this season, Flood became the first defenseman to score in his Checkers debut with a goal at Oklahoma City on Oct. 4.

Terry Takes Off

With his power-play goal against Iowa on Sunday, Chris Terry became the only Checkers player to score at least one point in all four of the team's games this season (3g, 1a). His three goals are tied with Mark Flood for the team lead.

Terry, who has led the Checkers in scoring for each of the past two seasons, had six point streaks of four or more games last season, including a season-long, seven-game run from Oct. 21-Nov. 16 (6g, 3a). His current streak is tied for the fifth longest in the AHL this season.

Finding Balance

Through four games, just five different Checkers have scored a goal this season. Mark Flood and Chris Terry lead the way with three apiece, with Zach Boychuk, Aaron Palushaj and Brody Sutter each chipping in one. Though Charlotte has played fewer games than 22 AHL teams, it is tied with Portland for fewest players with at least one goal.

Trouble at Home

Charlotte's 0-2-0 start at home this season marks their slowest start at Time Warner Cable Arena since its inaugural 2010-11 season, when it lost its first two games in regulation and its third in a shootout before picking up its first victory.

Including last season's playoffs, the Checkers have lost each of their last four home games while being out-scored by a margin of 24-6. They have given up six or more goals in three of those games. Aside from Utica, which has not yet played at home this season, the Checkers and Grand Rapids (0-1-0) are the only teams that have yet to earn a point at home.

Packing Up

The Checkers' upcoming stretch of six consecutive road games will all be played as part of a single trip from Oct. 25-Nov. 2, making it the longest in team history. It also contains the first of just four three-in-threes the team will play this seaason, which is the fewest amount in the team's four AHL seasons.

The Checkers are a perfect 2-0-0 on the road this season, making them one of just four teams with a 100 percent record away from home.

Player Streaks

  • Chris Terry has points in each of his last four games (Oct. 4-20; 3g, 1a)
  • Justin Shugg has assists and points in each of his last two games (Oct. 19-20: 0g, 2a)

Transactions

Incoming

  • Oct. 16 - (G) Jesse Deckert recalled to Charlotte from Florida (ECHL)

Outgoing

  • Oct. 14 - (G) Justin Peters recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte

Coming Up

Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. - Checkers at Grand Rapids

Saturday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. - Checkers at Rockford

Sunday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. - Checkers at Chicago

By the Numbers

Team Statistics
CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 11.8% 23rd 11.1% (t-20th)
Penalty kill 72.2% t-26th 75.0% (t-26th)
Goals per game 2.25 t-24th 3.00 (t-10th)
Shots per game 29.8 t-18th 29.0 (t-15th)
Goals allowed per game 3.50 t-23rd 2.00 (t-2nd)
Shots allowed per game 29.5 t-12th 29.0 (t-14th)
Penalty minutes per game 19.3 t-14th 14.0 (5th)
Team Leaders
CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Chris Terry (4), Mark Flood, Aaron Palushaj (3)
Goals Mark Flood, Chris Terry (3), Zach Boychuk, Aaron Palushaj, Brody Sutter (1)
Assists Matt Corrente, Aaron Palushaj, Victor Rask, Justin Shugg (2)
Power play goals Mark Flood, Chris Terry (1)
Shorthanded goals none
Game-winning goals Brody Sutter, Aaron Palushaj (1)
Shots on goal Mark Flood (11), Zach Boychuk, Victor Rask, Chris Terry (10)
Penalty minutes Manny Malhotra (17), Matt Corrente (13), Nicolas Blanchard (10)
Plus/minus Rasmus Rissanen (+3), Matt Corrente (+2), Aaron Palushaj (+1)
Wins Justin Peters (1), Mike Murphy (1)
Goals-against average Justin Peters (2.00), Mike Murphy (3.80), Jesse Deckert (4.95)
Save percentage Justin Peters (.941), Mike Murphy (.873), Jesse Deckert (.769)

Checkers in the ECHL

Florida Everblades
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Kyle Bonis F 2 1 0 1 0 +2  
Austin Levi D 2 0 1 1 2 +1  
Stefan Della Rovere F 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Kellan Tochkin F 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.