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Weekly Report: Dec. 2, 2013

Charlotte Checkers Weekly Report
For the second consecutive week, the Checkers earned a victory in between two losses as their attempt to string together a run of victories hit another roadblock.

Having started the week with a 5-2 defeat in Norfolk, their second loss in as many games, the Checkers got back in the win column with a 4-1 victory over Milwaukee at Time Warner Cable Arena in what was one of their better games of the entire season on Saturday. However, offensive struggles resurfaced in a 2-1 defeat in Sunday's rematch with Milwaukee that prevented the team from winning consecutive games for the first time since the season's opening weekend on Oct. 4 and 5.

The Milwaukee games marked the start of a 10-game home stand that is the team's longest of the season and ties a franchise record set last season. The Checkers play two more games against Rockford, who they hold a 2-1-1 record against this season, on Thursday and Saturday.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    7-13-1
  • Home record
    2-8-0
  • Road record
    5-5-1
  • Last week's record
    1-2-0
  • Last 10 games
    2-8-0
  • Division Standings
    5th
  • Conference Standings
    13th
  • League Standings
    28th

Norfolk 5, Checkers 2

The Checkers played a rare road game in Norfolk on Wednesday, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Admirals. Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly, who returned from the NHL earlier in the day, led Norfolk with three points apiece while the Checkers got goals from Matt Marquardt and Chris Terry. John Muse made 24 saves in the losing effort, Charlotte's second in as many games. Full recap

Checkers 4, Milwaukee 1

Chris Terry, Zach Boychuk, Justin Shugg and Aaron Palushaj scored goals to lead an offensive breakout for the Checkers, who defeated the Milwaukee Admirals by a 4-1 score to start the Checkers' 10-game home stand on Saturday. Terry's goal was his second in as many games and gave him sole possession of the team lead with eight, with the Checkers winning for the second time in their last three home games after starting the season 0-6-0 at Time Warner Cable Arena. John Muse made 27 saves to earn his fifth win of the season. Full recap

Milwaukee 2, Checkers 1

The Checkers got a five-on-three tally from Zach Boychuk, his second goal in as many games, late in the first period to take the lead but weren't able to build on that momentum in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday. Rob Madore, who rejoined the team on a tryout contract earlier in the week, stopped 25 of 27 shots in his AHL season debut for the Checkers, who tied their season-low, set six times earlier this season, with just one goal. Full recap

Notables

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Last Week's News

Boychuk Powers Up

Zach Boychuk scored his second power-play goal in as many games on Sunday, tying him for second in the AHL with six man-advantage goals on the season. Each of his last two goals came after just eight seconds had elapsed on those power plays.

All but one of Boychuk's seven goals, which tie him for second on the team, have come on the man advantage. He is the Checkers' all-time leader with 34 power-play goals, at least eight more than any other player.

Home Again

The Checkers' current 10-game home stand ties the longest in franchise history, a record originally set from Nov. 25-Dec. 15 of last season. The Checkers began that home stand with five consecutive losses, which stood as a franchise record for longest home and overall losing streaks until the team topped those marks with an overall losing streak of seven games and a home losing streak of six games this season.

Dating back to Nov. 7, the Checkers are in the midst of a stretch in which they play 16 of 19 games at Time Warner Cable Arena. After starting the season 0-6-0 on home ice, the Checkers have won two of four in their own building.

Goalies Galore

Rob Madore, who signed a professional tryout contract with the Checkers on Tuesday, became the seventh goaltender used by the team this season when he started Sunday's game against Milwaukee. That total extended a franchise record and marks the highest of any AHL team this season.

Ohter goaltenders to play at least one game for the Checkers this season are Justin Peters, Mike Murphy, Jesse Deckert, John Muse, Allen York and Rick DiPietro.

Floodgates Open

Mark Flood's seven goals are tied for second on the team and second among all AHL defensemen, while his four power-play goals are tied for second among league blueliners.

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 Nov. 22, has recorded four points (1g, 3a) in his first five games as a Checker. Cornet, who was playing with ECHL Cincinnati at the time of the trade, now has 98 points (47g, 51a) in 185 career AHL games with Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Charlotte - all members of the current West Division.

Killers Turning Corner

Though the Checkers rank 25th in the AHL with a 78.7 percent success rate on the penalty kill, they have held opponents off the board in four of their last five games (16 for 18: 88.9 percent). Prior to that stretch, they had prevented power play goals in only four of their previous 16 games.

Divided Division

In 21 games, the Checkers have played against their own division, the West, just three times (2-1-0), marking the fewest games that any AHL team has played within its own division. Charlotte's next two games are against San Antonio, marking its first inter-divisional games since it last faced the Rampage on Nov. 2.

Month to Forget

The Checkers' 2-9-0 record in November made it the least successful month in team history in terms of victories and points earned. Prior to this season, November had historically been the team's best month with a combined record of 24-8-4 over the last three seasons. They had never lost more than three games during the month.

First Goals

All seven of the Checkers' victories this season have come when scoring the game's first goal, but their .500 winning percentage in that scenario (7-7-1) ties the second-lowest in the AHL. The Checkers have scored first in 15 of their 21 games this season, tying them for the third-most opening goals in the AHL this season behind Texas (17) and Manchester (16).

Quick Hits

  • The Checkers have scored three or more goals in all seven of their victories this season
  • Charlotte has yet to earn a point when trailing at an intermission this season (0-6-0 when trailing after the first, 0-9-0 when trailing after the second)
  • Matt Corrente ranks tied for third among all AHL defensemen with five major penalties
  • Charlotte has both scored (21) and allowed (28) more goals in the third period than in any other period
  • The Checkers have been tied early in the third period in each of their last four losses dating back to Nov. 19
  • 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

  • Chris Terry has points in each of his last three games (Nov. 27-Dec. 1: 2g, 2a)
  • Zach Boychuk has goals and points in each of his last two games (Nov. 20-Dec. 1: 2g, 1a)

Milestones

  • Philippe Cornet is two points away from 100 AHL points
  • Nicolas Blanchard is 2 goals away from 25 Checkers goals
  • Brett Sutter played his 200th game with the Checkers on Nov. 27

Transactions

Incoming

  • Nov. 26 - (G) Rob Madore signed to professional tryout contract

Outgoing

  • Nov. 26 - (G) Rick DiPietro released from professional tryout contract

Coming Up

Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Rockford

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  • Harris Teeter VIC Card Thursday - show your VIC card to get $5 off any regular-price ticket

Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Rockford

Novant Health
  • Heels and Hockey
  • Sing for Santa
  • Teddy Bear Toss for Novant Health

By the Numbers

Team Statistics
CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 21.7% 4th 22.3% (5th)
Penalty kill 78.7% 25th 77.7% (27th)
Goals per game 2.57 23rd 2.61 (23rd)
Shots per game 30.7 10th 30.9 (10th)
Goals allowed per game 3.19 25th 3.28 (25th)
Shots allowed per game 29.7 13th 30.0 (13th)
Penalty minutes per game 16.1 11th 15.7 (9th)
Team Leaders
CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Zach Boychuk (17), Aaron Palushaj, Victor Rask, Chris Terry (14)
Goals Chris Terry (8), Zach Boychuk, Mark Flood (7), Aaron Palushaj (6)
Assists Zach Boychuk (10), Victor Rask (9), Aaron Palushaj (8)
Power play goals Zach Boychuk (6), Mark Flood (4), Chris Terry (3)
Shorthanded goals none
Game-winning goals Aaron Palushaj (2), five tied at (1)
Shots on goal Zach Boychuk (57), Mark Flood (55), Chris Terry (53)
Penalty minutes Nicolas Blanchard (55), Matt Corrente (49), Rasmus Rissanen (26)
Plus/minus Justin Shugg (+1), Michal Jordan, Brody Sutter, Brendan Woods (0)
Wins John Muse (5), Mike Murphy, Justin Peters (1)
Goals-against average John Muse (2.41), Mike Murphy (3.81), Rick DiPietro (5.18)
Save percentage John Muse (.916), Mike Murphy (.873), Rick DiPietro (.846)

Checkers in the NHL

Carolina Hurricanes
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Elias Lindholm C 15 2 1 3 2 -6  
Manny Malhotra C 15 1 3 4 10 4 2nd on team in plus/minus, won 60.3 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 Backed up last five games

Checkers in the ECHL

Florida Everblades
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Kyle Bonis F 18 10 5 15 7 +7 t-3rd ECHL goals
Austin Levi D 19 0 4 4 18 +1  
Stefan Della Rovere F - - - - - - On injured reserve
Kellan Tochkin F 14 3 5 8 18 +5  
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Jesse Deckert 9 6-1-2 2.71 .891 0 Injured - out for season