The Checkers brought a pair of familiar faces back from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades on Thursday.
Center Sean Dolan and defenseman Beau Schmitz are rejoining the team in Charlotte for Friday’s home game against the Oklahoma City Barons, which marks the team’s annual Pink in the Rink event at Time Warner Cable Arena. Both players were with Charlotte until recently, with Schmitz assigned to Florida on Jan. 25 and Dolan heading down on Jan. 31.
In his first games since suffering an injury in the Checkers’ Nov. 30 game in Milwaukee and first ECHL appearances since the 2011-12 season, Dolan notched four points (2g, 2a) in three games with the Everblades, three of which came in a single game on Feb. 1 (2g, 1a). Since signing a tryout from the South Carolina Stingrays two seasons ago, Dolan has been a mainstay in the Checkers’ lineup as a checking center and penalty killer.
Schmitz, a 22-year-old, second-year pro, totaled four assists in six games in the Everblades. The Checkers’ seventh defenseman until the Carolina Hurricanes’ assignment of Ryan Murphy to Charlotte pushed him to Florida, Schmitz posted six points (2g, 4a) in 23 AHL games this season while filling in for injured players.
Barring any under-the-radar injuries that may have hit the Checkers during their two-game trip to Abbotsford or any other pendin transactions, the recall of Dolan and Schmitz would give the team 14 healthy forwards and eight healthy defensemen, with Nicolas Blanchard and Jared Staal potentially able to add to that total as they work to return from injury.
- Written by Paul Branecky