January 09, 2012 8:27 AM
Overall record: 21-13-3 (Home 12-5-2 | Road 9-8-1)
Last week’s record: 2-2-0 | Last 10 games: 6-3-1
Standings: 1st Midwest Division | 2nd Western Conference
The Checkers finished the week with a record of 2-2-0, splitting a back-to-back home series with San Antonio before doing the same on the road against divisional opponents Milwaukee and Chicago.
Saturday’s win in Milwaukee prevented the Admirals from catching up to the Checkers in the Midwest, as Charlotte instead built a four-point lead that held up when Milwaukee lost to Peoria on Sunday. However, the next night’s defeat in Chicago continued the Wolves’ recent climb in the standings, as they now hold second place in the division after winning eight of their last 11 games and trail the Checkers by just three points.
Both Chicago and Milwaukee have games in hand on Charlotte that, if won, would allow them to surpass the Checkers. The Checkers will be looking to take advantage of an upcoming four-game home stand that includes two games apiece against Hershey and Grand Rapids to help solidify their hold on first place.
San Antonio 2, Charlotte 0 – Recap
The Checkers five-game point streak came to an end on Tuesday as they were shut out for the third time this season, this time against San Antonio goalie Dov-Grumet Morris. Morris made 33 saves, including 14 in the third period, as the Rampage took a 2-1 lead in the four-game season series between the two clubs. Mike Murphy made 30 saves for Charlotte, his most since last facing San Antonio on Oct. 29.
Charlotte 2, San Antonio 1 – Recap
Charlotte finally solved San Antonio goalie Dov-Grumet Morris, scoring twice on 47 shots to split the back-to-back, home-and-home series, as well as the four-game season series, between the two clubs on Wednesday. Rookie goalie John Muse, in his first AHL start of the season, narrowly missed his first career shutout by allowing a goal with just 1:01 left in regulation and finished the night with 42 saves. Jerome Samson and Riley Nash scored goals for the Checkers.
Charlotte 4, Milwaukee 3 – Recap
Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk scored 20 seconds apart midway through the third period to erase a one-goal deficit lead the Checkers to a 4-3 win that increased their lead over their main division rival to four points. Dalpe and Nicolas Blanchard were responsible for the Checkers’ other goals on Saturday, as they became the first team to defeat Milwaukee when it was leading after two periods. Mike Murphy finished with 29 saves.
Chicago 5, Charlotte 2 – Recap
The Checkers fell short of another third-period comeback against a division rival on Sunday, rallying from an early 3-0 deficit to get to within 3-2 before Chicago finally pulled away in the third period. Zac Dalpe and Nicolas Blanchard each scored for the second consecutive game for the Checkers, who allowed Chicago to pull within three points in the Midwest division standings. Mike Murphy, making his second consecutive start for the Checkers, turned away 29 shots in the losing effort.
• Hurricanes reassign Drayson Bowman
Bowman, tied for third on the Checkers with 8 goals this season, returned to the team after a one-month stint in the NHL that produced 5 points (2g, 3a) in 11 games.
• Joslin happy to be playing
Twenty-four-year-old defenseman Derek Joslin is hoping to make the most of his two-week conditioning stint with the Checkers, who will use him extensively while they can.
• Checkers sign Sean Dolan to PTO
South Carolina Stingrays center Sean Dolan signed a professional tryout contract with the Checkers on Friday.
• Hurricanes recall Brett Sutter
The Checkers captain headed to the NHL for the third time this season on Thursday.
• Matsumoto, Samson named AHL All-Stars
The Checkers’ top two scorers will be heading to the annual event for the second time each.
• Hurricanes send Dalpe, Joslin to Charlotte
Prior to Wednesday’s game against San Antonio, the Carolina Hurricanes assigned forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Derek Joslin to Charlotte.
• Krueger finding his way
Defenseman Justin Krueger went through an adjustment period early before rounding into one of the team’s more reliable defenders, and surprisingly, its shootout ace.
• Checkers with the Checkers set for Jan. 13
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.
• HELP FROM ABOVE: In three games since joining the Checkers from Raleigh on Jan. 4, forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Derek Joslin have been the team’s two most productive offensive players with 3 points apiece. After being held scoreless in his first game back with Charlotte, Dalpe recorded 3 goals during the team’s two-game road trip, including a 2-goal performance Saturday in Milwaukee. Joslin, in the AHL on a two-week conditioning stint, recorded 3 assists in his first two games, including two in Milwaukee.
• HOME AND AWAY: The Checkers’ 26 points earned at home this season are tied with Hershey and Milwaukee for the most in the AHL. With a record of 12-5-2 this season, the AHL Checkers have improved to 34-18-6 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 9-8-1.
• CHECKERS FIND MUSE: Rookie goalie John Muse stopped 42 shots in his first AHL start of the season, helping his team to a 2-1 win over San Antonio on Wednesday. In his three AHL appearances, which also include one relief appearance for the Checkers this season and a tryout start for Portland following the conclusion of his collegiate career last season, Muse now has a 1.07 goals-against average and .971 save percentage.
• DIVISIONAL DOMINANCE: The Checkers have taken 21 out of a possible 28 points (10-3-1) against fellow Midwest Division teams this season, good for the highest percentage (.750) of any AHL team against its own division. After Charlotte, the Midwest team with the best divisional record is Milwaukee at 12-9-0 (.571).
• FIRST GOALS: The Checkers have scored first in just 16 of their 37 games this season, giving it the third-lowest percentage (.432) of any team currently in playoff position. The Checkers are 12-3-1 when scoring the game’s first goal, and 9-10-2 when they do not.
• SHORTHANDED GOALS: The Checkers have scored and allowed 5 shorthanded goals apiece this season, giving them a total (10) that ties them for third most in the league behind Hershey (13) and Rochester (11). The Checkers 5 goals scored rank tied for third in the league, while their 5 goals allowed rank tied for fourth.
• Zac Dalpe has goals and points in each of his last two games (3g, 0a)
• Nicolas Blanchard has goals and points in each of his last two games (2g, 0a)
|| 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 (27), Chris Terry (25)
||Jerome Samson (15), Jon Matsumoto (13), Zach Boychuk (9)
||Chris Terry (19), Jon Matsumoto (16), Jerome Samson (12)
|Power play goals:
||Jerome Samson (8), Jon Matsumoto (5)
||Several tied at (1)
||Jerome Samson (3), Zach Boychuk, Jon Matsumoto, Matthew Pistilli (2)
|Shots on goal:
||Jerome Samson (160), Chris Terry (89), Jon Matsumoto (83)
||Justin Soryal (96), Nicolas Blanchard (57), Chris Terry (45)
||Drayson Bowman, Justin Shugg (+5), Justin Krueger (+4)
||Mike Murphy (13), Justin Peters (6), John Muse (2)
||John Muse (0.58), Justin Peters (2.49), Mike Murphy (2.56)
||John Muse (.985), Justin Peters (.920), Mike Murphy (.915)
• Jan. 7 - (LW) Drayson Bowman reassigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
• Jan. 6 - (F) Sean Dolan signed to a PTO
• Jan. 5 - (C) Brett Sutter recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Jan. 4 - (C) Zac Dalpe reassigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
• Jan. 4 - (D) Derek Joslin assigned to Charlotte on conditioning loan from Carolina (NHL)
• Jan. 3 - (F) Matt Beca recalled to Charlotte from Florida (ECHL)
• Wednesday, Jan. 11 vs. Hershey (7 p.m.)
- Wet Your Whistle Weekday: 12 oz. Bud Lights for $3.50
• Thursday, Jan. 12 vs. Hershey (7 p.m.)
- Harris Teeter VIC Card Thursday: Show Your Harris Teeter VIC Card at the box office and receive $5 off any seat.
- College Night - Best of YouTube: College students get 50 percent off tickets. Click here to purchase.
- Guys Night Out
- Wet Your Whistle Weekday: 12 oz. Bud Lights for $3.50
• Sunday, Jan. 15 vs. Grand Rapids (3 p.m.)
- Team Poster Giveaway Presented by North Carolina Zoo Asheboro: The first 2,500 fans to arrive will recieve a free team poster couresty of North Carolina Zoo Asheboro
- Chubby's Birthday Party: Come celebrate Chubby’s birthday with all of his mascot friends.
- Piedmont Natural Gas Share the Warmth: Bring your Piedmont Natural Gas bill to the game and opt into the Share the Warmth ‘Round Up’ Program. This program allows customers to round up their monthly bill to the nearest dollar with all proceeds going to heat homes right here in our community. All who opt in will receive a FREE ticket to an upcoming game and a FREE Co-branded Checkers scarf, courtesy of Piedmont Natural Gas.
- Skate with the Team Presented by Extreme Ice Center: Fans can skate with the Checkers after the game
- Coke Family Four Pack: 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 Cokes and a Coke coupon for $60. Click here to buy online.
- Family Day Presented by North Carolina Zoo Asheboro: Zoo coupons will be handed out following each Sunday home game. Check out gocheckers.com/zoo for more information and a look at the Checkers' monthly transactions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.