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Weekly Report: Nov. 25, 2013

Charlotte Checkers Weekly Report
The Checkers finally broke their record losing streak this weekend, earning a split of a two-game set with Rockford at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Following a 3-2 loss in Toronto on Tuesday that extended the team's skid to seven games, the Checkers broke through both offensively and in the win column for a 5-2 win over the IceHogs on Saturday. They were unable to build on that the following day, however, with Rockford getting even by way of a 4-3 victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Checkers now head to Norfolk on Wednesday for their first meeting with the Admirals this season before returning home to face the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday and Sunday. The games against Milwaukee begin a 10-game home stand that will take the team right up until the holiday break on Dec. 21.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    6-11-1
  • Home record
    1-7-0
  • Road record
    5-4-1
  • Last week's record
    1-2-0
  • Last 10 games
    2-8-0
  • Division Standings
    5th
  • Conference Standings
    13th
  • League Standings
    27th

Toronto 3, Checkers 2

Former Carolina Hurricanes forward Troy Bodie scored the game-winning goal with 6:34 remaining in regulation to extend the Checkers' regulation losing streak to a seventh game on Tuesday in Toronto. Defenseman Rasmus Rissanen opened the scoring with his first goal in two seasons before captain Brett Sutter tied it at 2-2 early in the third period. John Muse made 27 saves in his third consecutive start. Full recap

Checkers 5, Rockford 2

The Checkers broke out for five goals, tying a season high, in a 5-2 win over Rockford on Saturday. The victory ended Charlotte's regulation losing streak at seven games and its home losing streak at six games, both of which were franchise records. Justin Shugg had his first multi-goal game as a professional, with Zach Boychuk (1g, 2a), Aaron Palushaj (1g, 1a) and Mark Flood (1g, 1a) also finding the back of the net. Philippe Cornet had two assists in his Checkers debut, while John Muse made 21 saves. Full recap

Rockford 4, Checkers 3

Despite erasing a two-goal deficit in the second period through goals by Keegan Lowe, his first as a professoinal, and Mark Flood, his team-leading seventh of the season, the Checkers fell back into the loss column with a 4-3 home defeat at the hands of Rockford on Sunday. Rick DiPietro made 26 saves in his first start since Nov. 13, while Philippe Cornet scored his first as a Checker on the power play after Charlotte had allowed the eventual game-winner, a shorthanded tally by Rockford, earlier in the third. Full recap

Notables

Philippe Cornet
  • The Checkers acquired former AHL All-Star Philippe Cornet from San Antonio in exchange for Adam Brace on Friday. Full story

Last Week's News

Floodgates Open

After scoring five goals in his first six games this season, defenseman Mark Flood broke a 10-game drought with goals in back-to-back games against Rockford over the weekend. That gave him a team-leading seven goals, good for second among all AHL defensemen, while his four power-play goals are tied for second in that category. Flood scored a total of four points (2g, 2a) in the two weekend games, more than any other Checkers player during that time.

Flood, who scored one goal in 52 games in the Russian KHL last season, is already closing in on his AHL career high of 11 set in 63 games with Manitoba in the 2010-11 campaign.

Welcome to the Club

Forward Philippe Cornet, a former AHL All-Star acquried via trade with San Antonio on Friday, recorded three points (1g, 2a) in his first two games as a Checker over the weekend, tying him with Zach Boychuk (1g, 2a) and Justin Shugg (2g, 1a) for second-most on the team behind Mark Flood (2g, 2a) during that time.

Cornet, who was playing with ECHL Cincinnati at the time of the trade, now has 97 points (47g, 50a) in 183 career AHL games with Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Charlotte - all members of the current West Division.

Offense Comes to Life

After scoring nine total goals in a six-game span from Nov. 7-19, the Checkers scored a total of eight goals in two games against Rockford over the weekend. That tied the most the team has scored in any two-game set this season, with Charlotte scoring five times against Rockford on Oct. 31 and three times against San Antonio on Nov. 2. The Checkers have scored a season-high five goals on four separate occasions this season.

Power Surge

Charlotte's four power-play goals on Saturday were a season high and fell just one short of the team record of five, set in Milwaukee on Feb. 16 of last season. It marked the third time this season that the Checkers have scored three or more power-play goals in a single game.

The Checkers have now scored at least one power-play goal in five of their last six games (9-for-31 - 29 percent), pulling them into fifth place in the AHL with a a 22.3 percent success rate for the season.

Streak Ends

Saturday's 5-2 win over Rockford broke the Checkers' overall seven-game losing streak and their six-game losing streak at home, both of which were franchise records. All losses had come during regulation time, making it the longest overall regulation losing streak in the AHL since Manchester in January of 2012 and the longest regulation home losing streak since Grand Rapids in the 2009-10 campaign.

Saturday's victory also marked Charlotte's first at home this season, ending an eight-game streak that included two playoff games last season. The Checkers were one of the last AHL teams to earn their first home victory, with Utica also picking up its first home win on Saturday.

Divided Division

In 18 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

  • The Checkers' penalty kill held Rockford off the board in five total chances over the weekend, marking just the third time it has prevented a power-play goal in consecutive games this season
  • Justin Shugg's two goals on Saturday marked his first career multi-goal game in the AHL
  • Zach Boychuk's three points on Saturday tied an individual season high for the Checkers set three times previously, including once by Boychuk
  • Charlotte has both scored (19) and allowed (23) more goals in the third period than in any other period
  • 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

  • Mark Flood has goals, assists and points in each of his last two games (Nov. 23-24: 2g, 2a)
  • Justin Shugg has points in each of his last two games (Nov. 23-24: 2g, 1a)
  • Philippe Cornet has points in each of his last two games (Nov. 23-24: 1g, 2a)

Milestones

  • Philippe Cornet recorded his first point as a Checker on Nov. 23 and his first goal as a Checker on Nov. 24.
  • Nicolas Blanchard is 2 goals away from 25 Checkers goals

Transactions

Incoming

  • Nov. 22 - (LW) Chris Terry assigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
  • Nov. 22 - (LW) Philippe Cornet acquired from San Antonio
  • Nov. 18 - (G) Mike Murphy assigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)

Outgoing

  • Nov. 22 - (C) Elias Lindholm recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
  • Nov. 22 - (RW) Adam Brace traded to San Antonio

Coming Up

Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7:15 p.m. - Checkers at Norfolk

Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Milwaukee

Novant HealthJack in the Box Late Night Game Night
  • Superhero Night
  • Children's DVD collection for Novant Health
  • Jack Late Night Game Night - sports bag giveaway

Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. - Checkers vs. Milwaukee

North Carolina Zoo AsheboroCoke Zero
  • Postgame skate with the Checkers presented by U.S. National Whitewater Center
  • 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 22.3% 5th 20.3% (8th)
Penalty kill 77.7% 27th 76.1% (28th)
Goals per game 2.61 23rd 2.47 (25th)
Shots per game 30.9 10th 31.7 (8th)
Goals allowed per game 3.28 25th 3.33 (24th)
Shots allowed per game 30.0 13th 30.5 (16th)
Penalty minutes per game 15.7 9th 15.9 (10th)
Team Leaders
CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Zach Boychuk (14), Mark Flood, Victor Rask (13), Aaron Palushaj (12)
Goals Mark Flood (7), Chris Terry (6), three tied at (5)
Assists Zach Boychuk (9), Victor Rask (8), Aaron Palushaj (7)
Power play goals Zach Boychuk, Mark Flood (4), Chris Terry (3)
Shorthanded goals none
Game-winning goals Aaron Palushaj (2), four tied at (1)
Shots on goal Mark Flood (49), Zach Boychuk (48), Chris Terry (46)
Penalty minutes Nicolas Blanchard, Matt Corrente (38), Rasmus Rissanen (24)
Plus/minus Justin Shugg (+2), Nicolas Blanchard (0), several tied at (-1)
Wins John Muse (4), Mike Murphy, Justin Peters (1)
Goals-against average John Muse (2.39), Mike Murphy (3.81), Rick DiPietro (5.18)
Save percentage John Muse (.918), Mike Murphy (.873), Rick DiPietro (.846)

Checkers in the NHL

Carolina Hurricanes
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Elias Lindholm C 12 2 1 3 2 -5 Scored goal vs. OTT on 11/23
Manny Malhotra C 12 1 2 3 8 5 t-1st on team in plus/minus, won 60.6 percent of faceoffs
Chris Terry LW 7 0 0 0 0 -3 Reassigned to Charlotte on 11/22
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Justin Peters 12 4-7-1 2.49 .920 1  

Checkers in the ECHL

Florida Everblades
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Kyle Bonis F 15 9 4 13 7 +6 t-4th ECHL goals
Austin Levi D 16 0 3 3 16 0  
Stefan Della Rovere F - - - - - - On injured reserve
Kellan Tochkin F 11 2 5 7 16 +5  
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Jesse Deckert 9 6-1-2 2.71 .891 0 Did not dress last six 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.