January 02, 2012 8:30 AM
Overall record: 19-11-3 (Home 11-4-2 | Road 8-7-1)
Last week’s record: 2-0-0 | Last 10 games: 5-4-1
Standings: 1st Midwest Division | 2nd Western Conference
The Checkers returned from their nine-day holiday break to record back-to-back wins in Rockford and Chicago that extended their point streak to five games (4-0-1). The streak ties Charlotte’s longest of the season, a team-record five-game winning streak that spanned from Nov. 20-30.
Thanks to its two victories and a Milwaukee loss on New Year’s Day, the Checkers enter the first full week of 2012 with a two-point lead in the Midwest Division and the second seed in the Western Conference. Milwaukee, which hosts the Checkers this Saturday, has still played three fewer games.
Prior to heading out on that weekend road trip that will also take it to Chicago on Sunday, the Checkers host San Antonio for back-to-back games at Time Warner Cable Arena beginning Tuesday.
Checkers 4, Rockford 3 (SO) - Recap
The Checkers returned from the longest holiday break of any AHL team to record a 4-3 shootout victory over the IceHogs in Rockford. Charlotte surrendered a 3-1 first period lead it had earned on goals by Matt Pistilli, Chris Terry and Jerome Samson but scored on all three of its shootout attempts to extend its point streak to four games. Mike Murphy made 26 saves and stopped all three Rockford shootout attempts to get the win.
Checkers 4, Chicago 1 – Recap
Charlotte beat a Midwest Division foe for the second time in as many nights as it topped the Chicago Wolves 4-1 on a New Year’s Eve matinee. Nicolas Blanchard, Jerome Samson and Zach Boychuk got the Checkers out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, with Mike Murphy allowing just one goal until Brett Sutter sealed the win with an empty-net tally. Murphy finished with 28 saves as the Checkers extended their point streak to five games (4-0-1), tying a season high.
• Checkers with the Checkers set for Jan. 13
Think you have what it takes to be crowned King or Queen of the checkerboard? Well here's your chance as the Checkers and 106.5 The END will hold the inaugural Checkers with the Checkers tournament and charity event on Friday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
• Nash hopes to build on NHL debut
Now back with the Checkers to continue his second professional season, Riley Nash will have a chance to build on confidence gained during his first NHL experience.
• Hurricanes recall Zac Dalpe
The Carolina Hurricanes made their second forward recall of the Checkers’ holiday break, bringing up forward Zac Dalpe late Monday night.
• STREAKING: The Checkers current five-game point streak (4-0-1) is tied with Norfolk for the longest active streak in the AHL and tied for the team’s longest of the season. Since Nov. 20, the Checkers have also experienced a team-record five-game winning streak (Nov. 20-30) and tied a team record with a four-game losing streak (Dec. 5-15).
• DIVISIONAL DOMINANCE: The Checkers have taken 19 out of a possible 24 points (9-2-1) against fellow Midwest Division teams this season, good for the highest percentage (.792) of any AHL team against its own division.
• PENALTY KILLING PROWESS: The Checkers have killed oFf 21 consecutive power plays over their last six games, marking their best streak of the season in both categories. The team, which has not given up a power-play goal since San Antonio’s Bracken Kearns beat them midway through the second period on Dec. 11, now ranks seventh in the AHL with an 84.4 percent penalty-killing rate.
• SAMSON SHOOTS, SCORES: Charlotte forward Jerome Samson, the AHL’s shots on goal leader once again with 143 in 33 games, has scored four goals in his last five games to reclaim the team lead in that category (14). After briefly losing the league lead in shots to Hershey’s Chris Bourque last week, Samson, who finished with the AHL lead two seasons ago and was again the runaway leader at the time of his NHL recall late last season, posted six shots in back-to-back games last week.
Eight of Samson’s goals this season have come on the power play, tying him for third in the AHL. He is on pace to top his career high of 12 power-play goals set during his rookie season with Albany in 2007-08.
• SANGUINETTI’S HELPFUL RETURN: Since returning from a 10-game absence caused by a broken foot, defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti has five points, all assists, in seven games. Despite playing in just 23 of the Checkers’ first 33 games, he now leads all team blueliners in assists (11). Seven of those helpers have come on the power play, giving him the most on the team behind Chris Terry’s 11. Sanguinetti is just one of just three Charlotte skaters still looking for his first goal of the season.
• SHOOTOUT ACE: After stopping all three challengers against Rockford Dec. 30, Checkers goalie Mike Murphy has now allowed just one goal in 13 chances. That gives him a shootout save percentage of .923, which ranks second in the AHL and first among active goaltenders. Murphy has won all three of his shootout appearances this season, helping the Checkers to a 4-1 record.
• HOME AND AWAY: The Checkers 24 points earned at home this season are tied with Milwaukee for second-most in the league behind Manchester’s 25. With a record of 11-4-2 this season, the AHL Checkers have improved to 33-17-6 all-time at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Checkers recently broke the .500 mark on the road for the first time since Dec. 9 and now have a season record of 8-7-1.
• The Checkers have earned points in each of their last five games (4-0-1).
• Jerome Samson has points in each of his last five games (4g, 1a).
• Zach Boychuk has points in three consecutive games (1g, 3a).
• Brett Sutter has points in each of his last two games (1g, 2a)
• Chris Terry has points in each of his last two games (1g, 1a)
• Nicolas Blanchard has points in each of his last two games (1g, 1a)
• Mike Murphy has started six consecutive games in goal (Dec. 15-30; 3-1-1).
|| AHL RANK
|Goals per game:
|Shots per game:
|Goals allowed per game:
|Shots allowed per game:
|Penalty minutes per game:
||Jon Matsumoto (29), Jerome Samson (26), Chris Terry (24)
||Jerome Samson (14), Jon Matsumoto (13)
||Chris Terry (18), Jon Matsumoto (16), Jerome Samson (12)
|Power play goals:
||Jerome Samson (8), Jon Matsumoto (5)
||Drayson Bowman, Mathieu Roy, Brett Sutter, Chris Terry (1)
||Jerome Samson (3), Zach Boychuk, Jon Matsumoto, Matthew Pistilli (2)
|Shots on goal:
||Jerome Samson (143), Jon Matsumoto, Chris Terry (77)
||Justin Soryal (70), Nicolas Blanchard (57), Chris Terry (39)
||Drayson Bowman (+6), Justin Shugg (+5), Justin Krueger (+4)
||Mike Murphy (12), Justin Peters (6)
||Mike Murphy (2.48), Justin Peters (2.49)
||Justin Peters (.920), Mike Murphy (.917)
• Dec. 26 – (C) Zac Dalpe recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Tuesday, Jan. 3 vs. San Antonio (7 p.m.)
Wet Your Whistle Weekday: 12 oz. Bud Lights for $3.50
• Wednesday, Jan. 4 vs. San Antonio (7 p.m.)
Wet Your Whistle Weekday: 12 oz. Bud Lights for $3.50
• Saturday, Jan. 7 at Milwaukee (8 p.m.)
• Sunday, Jan. 8 at Chicago (4 p.m.)
Start your week off with a cup of Magnolia Coffee, the official coffee of the Checkers. For more information, visit their website, call Magnolia Coffee at 704-654-5393 or email email@example.com.