Win with Papa John's
Charlotte Checkers News Harris Teeter

Weekly Report: Nov. 18, 2013

Brendan Woods fight
The Checkers' recent struggles continued through last week, with the team losing three more games to set a franchise record.

Two home losses to the Hershey Bears and an unsuccessful return to the road in Toronto over the weekend extended the streak to an all-time high of six games, which marks the longest endured by any AHL team this season. The week also saw the team set records with its longest home losing streak (six games) and largest regular-season defeat (8-1 to Hershey on Thursday).

The team will now play an additional game in Toronto on Tuesday before returning to Time Warner Cable Arena to face the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday also marking the second annual Charlotte Checkers 5K Run & Walk that morning. Between now and Dec. 21, the Checkers play 12 of their next 15 at home.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    5-9-1
  • Home record
    0-6-0
  • Road record
    5-3-1
  • Last week's record
    0-3-0
  • Last 10 games
    2-7-1
  • Division Standings
    5th
  • Conference Standings
    14th
  • League Standings
    28th

Hershey 5, Checkers 3

The Hershey Bears jumped out to a 5-1 lead against goalie Rick DiPietro midway through the second period en route to an eventual 5-3 victory over the Checkers at Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday. Michal Jordan, Adam Brace and Elias Lindholm scored for Charlotte, with John Muse stopping all nine shots he faced in relief of DiPietro (10 saves on 15 shots). The loss dropped Charlotte to 0-5-0 at home this season, tying a franchise record for longest home losing streak, and marked the team's fourth straight loss overall. Full recap

Hershey 8, Checkers 1

The visiting Hershey Bears handed Charlotte the most lopsided regular-season loss in franchise history to the tune of an 8-1 score on Thursday. The Bears scored the game's first three goals on John Muse (19 saves on 26 shots) before Zach Boychuk got one back on the power play near the end of the first period. However, Hershey would then run away with the game, with Charlotte's seven-goal loss margin tying an 8-1 loss to Oklahoma City from last season's playoffs as the largest in team history. The loss kept Charlotte winless at home this season, setting a new franchise record for longest home losing streak (six games) and tying the franchise record for longest overall losing streak (five games). Full recap

Toronto 4, Checkers 1

The Checkers' first-ever meeting with Toronto on Saturday afternoon did not go as planned, with the Marlies taking home a 4-1 victory in the first of two games on the Checkers' brief road trip. Greg McKegg had two goals and two assists for the home team, with Zach Boychuk accounting for Charlotte's lone goal on the power play for the second consecutive game. The result extended Charlotte's losing streak to a franchise-record sixth game, giving the team an overall road record of 5-3-1. John Muse made 24 saves, while defenseman Michal Jordan left the game due to injury in the first period and did not return. Full recap

Notables

Zach Boychuk
  • Zach Boychuk donned the helmet cam and new stick cam at a Checkers practice for this season's first edition of Player Vision presented by Horizon Eye Care. Watch

Last Week's News

Losing Skid

After starting the season with a record of 5-3-1, the Checkers have lost each of their last six games, setting a new franchise record. The previous record was set last season when the team dropped five in a row, all at home, from Nov. 24-Dec. 6.

The current slide is the longest regulation losing streak than an AHL team has experienced this season, with Bridgeport, Hamilton and Utica all snapping out of five-game funks. Only two teams suffered losing streaks longer than six games last season - San Antonio and Worcester, who each lost eight in a row in March and April.

Trouble At Home

The Checkers are 0-6-0 at Time Warner Cable Arena, setting a new franchise record for longest home losing streak. That ties Utica for the longest home losing streak of any AHL team this season, with Charlotte and Utica the only two teams that have yet to earn a victory at home. There were three home losing streaks of six or more games in the league during the previous season, with Worcester dropping its final nine games, a league high.

Dating back to last season's playoffs, when they lost their last two games to Oklahoma City, the Checkers have lost eight straight home games. Four of those games were decided by four or more goals.

Tough Night

The Checkers' 8-1 defeat to Hershey on Thursday marked the most lopsided regulation loss in the team's four AHL seasons, home or away. Prior to that, the team's largest loss was by six goals in an 8-2 home loss to Abbotsford on April 8, 2012.

Thursday's final score tied another 8-1 game that occurred during Game 4 of the Checkers' playoff series with Oklahoma City on May 3, 2013, for the worst defeat in team history. That game was the start of the team's current eight-game home losing streak that spans both seasons.

Thursday's result also tied the largest loss margin of any AHL team this season, with Grand Rapids topping Rochester by an 8-1 score on Oct. 4.

Youth Movement

Elias Lindholm, the fifth overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, made his AHL/Checkers debut on Nov. 7, becoming the youngest player to ever play for the franchise at 18 years and 340 days. Defenseman Justin Faulk, who debuted with the team following the end of his freshman season in college, had the previous record at 19 years and 40 days, set on April 20, 2011.

By scoring his first AHL goal on Nov. 13, Lindholm became the youngest Checker to score a goal or record a point at 18 years and 347 days. He has three points in his last three games (1g, 2a), giving him the most points on the team during that time.

Lindholm is the second-highest-drafted player to suit up for Charlotte behind Rick DiPietro, the 2000 first-overall draft choice who made his debut with the team earlier this season. Manny Malhotra (7th overall in 1998), who has since signed with Carolina, gives the team three top-10 picks this season alone. Prior to this season, the highest-drafted player to ever play for the team was defenseman Ryan Murphy (12th overall in 2011), who played his first game with the team last March.

Muse's Run Ends

John Muse
After allowing three or fewer goals in each of his first five starts this season, goalie John Muse allowed a franchise-record seven goals in Thursday's 8-1 loss to Hershey. Prior to that, a Checkers goalie had allowed six goals in a single game on eight separate occasions, including two by Muse last March.

Muse, who set a franchise record with a 154-minute shutout streak to start the season, entered Thursday's game leading the league in goals-against average (1.29) and save percentage (.957). After that loss an a subsquent 4-1 defeat in Toronto on Saturday, he now ranks 15th with a 2.36 goals-against average and is 14th with a .921 save percentage.

Scoring Slump

The Checkers have scored just seven goals in their last five games, with three of those goals coming during a 5-3 loss to Hershey on Nov. 13. The team managed just one goal in each of its four other contests and has now scored one goal in six different games this season.

Charlotte, which has scored just one even-strength goal in its last three games, ranks 25th in the AHL with an average of 2.47 goals per game.

Rare Territory

A 2-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Nov. 9 dropped the Checkers to 5-6-1 on the season, marking the first time they had been under the .500 mark since starting 0-1-1 in Norfolk on Oct. 7 and 8, 2011. With the team now 5-9-1, this is the latest in a season that the team has been under .500, with the 2010-11 Checkers evening their record to 7-7-1 on Nov. 11, 2010, en route to an eventual run to the Eastern Conference Final.

Since joining the AHL, the Checkers have been under .500 for just 46 total days, 29 of which came during the team's inaugural season, when they hit a record-low four games under .500 (2-6-1) on Oct. 29, 2010.

Divided Division

In 15 games, the Checkers have played against their own division, the West, just three times (2-1-0) and will not play another game against a West team until hosting San Antonio on Dec. 10. No other AHL team has played fewer games within its own division.

Quick Hits

  • Since scoring first in eight conscutive games, the Checkers have allowed the opposition to score first in each of their last three
  • After going through an 0-for-13 drought over three games, the Checkers have four power-play goals in their last three games (4-for-16: 25 percent)
  • The Checkers have allowed multiple power-play goals in five of their last eight games, including each of their last three
  • Despite not scoring a goal since Oct. 26, Mark Flood is tied for fifth among AHL defenseman with five goals and ranks tied for fourth with three power-play goals
  • The Checkers' one overtime game is tied with Iowa for the fewest in the league
  • Charlotte is one of three teams that have yet to score a shorthanded goal

Player Streaks

  • Elias Lindholm has points in each of his last three games (Nov. 13-16; 1g, 2a)
  • Zach Boychuk has goals and points in each of his last two games (Nov. 14-16; 2g, 0a)

Milestones

  • Elias Lindholm scored his first career AHL goal on Nov. 13 and recorded his first AHL assist on Nov. 14
  • Nicolas Blanchard recorded his 350th penalty minute as a Checker on Nov. 14
  • Nicolas Blanchard is 2 goals away from 25 Checkers goals
  • Michal Jordan is 3 assists away from 50 AHL/Checkers assists

Coming Up

Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. - Checkers at Toronto

Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Rockford

Title Boxing Charlotte Athletic Club
  • Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Title Boxing Club
  • Checkers Charity 5K - get free ticket by participating that morning

Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m. - Checkers vs. Rockford

North Carolina Zoo AsheboroCoke Zero
  • NC Zoo Asheboro coupon giveaway
  • Coke Family Four Packs - four tickets, four hot dogs and four Cokes for $65

By the Numbers

Team Statistics
CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 20.3% 8th 19.0% (12th)
Penalty kill 76.1% 28th 80.0% (t-22nd)
Goals per game 2.47 25th 2.67 (21st)
Shots per game 31.7 8th 30.8 (12th)
Goals allowed per game 3.33 24th 2.75 (8th)
Shots allowed per game 30.5 16th 31.1 (19th)
Penalty minutes per game 15.9 10th 14.9 (6th)
Team Leaders
CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Zach Boychuk (11), Victor Rask, Chris Terry (10)
Goals Chris Terry (6), Mark Flood, Victor Rask (5)
Assists Zach Boychuk (7), Aaron Palushaj, Victor Rask (5)
Power play goals Zach Boychuk, Mark Flood, Chris Terry (3)
Shorthanded goals none
Game-winning goals Aaron Palushaj (2), Mark Flood, Brody Sutter, Chris Terry (1)
Shots on goal Zach Boychuk (42), Mark Flood (40), Victor Rask (36)
Penalty minutes Matt Corrente (33), Nicolas Blanchard (29), Rasmus Rissanen (22)
Plus/minus Adam Brace (+2), Justin Shugg (+1), several tied at (0)
Wins John Muse (3), Mike Murphy, Justin Peters (1)
Goals-against average John Muse (2.36), Mike Murphy (3.81), Rick DiPietro (5.57)
Save percentage John Muse (.921), Mike Murphy (.873), Rick DiPietro (.839)

Checkers in the NHL

Carolina Hurricanes
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Manny Malhotra C 8 1 1 2 4 4 Won 65.7 percent of faceoffs
Chris Terry LW 5 0 0 0 0 -2 2/2 on shootouts, including winner on Nov. 15
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Mike Murphy 0 - - - - Dressed as backup for 10 games
Justin Peters 11 4-6-1 2.35 .921 1 4-1-1, 1.45 GAA and .949 SV% since Nov. 5

Checkers in the ECHL

Florida Everblades
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Kyle Bonis F 12 9 4 13 2 +6 t-2nd ECHL goals
Austin Levi D 13 0 2 2 12 0  
Stefan Della Rovere F - - - - - -  
Kellan Tochkin F 8 2 2 4 14 +5  
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Jesse Deckert 9 6-1-2 2.71 .891 0 Did not dress last three games
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.