A return to home ice couldn’t help the Checkers right the ship as they dropped a pair of contests to the powerhouse Marlies over the weekend.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    21-16-1
  • Home record
    10-7-1
  • Road record
    11-9-0
  • Last weeks' record
    0-2-0
  • Last 10 games
    3-7-0
  • Division Standings
    5th
  • Conference Standings
    8th
  • League Standings
    14th

Toronto 4, Checkers 1

Returning home after a tough road trip, the Checkers couldn’t get back on track against the East’s top team. After falling into a 2-0 hole, Andrew Poturalski sniped a shot in to pull the home squad within one goal through 40 minutes of play. There would be no comeback, however, as the Marlies notched a power-play tally early in the third to reclaim their two-goal advantage, then tacked on an empty netter to seal the win. Garret Sparks stood tall between the pipes for the Marlies, who were outshot by Charlotte over the course of the game, and turned aside 26 of the 27 pucks thrown at him. Full recap

Toronto 3, Checkers 1

The next night’s rematch was a similarly low-scoring affair. After 40 minutes of a stalemate, Jeremy Bracco finally broke the ice 90 seconds into the third frame, followed later in the period by another Marlies’ tally to put Charlotte down 2-0. Andrew Poturalski gave the home team some life with five minutes to play when he redirected a point blast into the back of the net, but that would be the end of Charlotte’s rally attempt. A late empty netter would be the final nail in the coffin, as Calvin Pickard’s 27 saves helped lead Toronto to a weekend sweep of the Checkers. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Kichton

3rd Star

Brenden Kichton

0g, 1a
Brown

2nd Star

Patrick Brown

0g, 1a
Poturalski

1st Star

Andrew Poturalski

2g, 0a

Notables

MISSING OFFENSE

Despite still ranking third in the AHL, Charlotte’s offense has had a tough time producing over this last stretch of games.

The Checkers, who have scored five or more goals 14 times this season, have failed to eclipse two goals in six of their last seven contests – all of which have been losses – and have been held to one or fewer goals in each of their last four.

SCORING DROUGHT

That drought has seen several of Charlotte’s big guns go silent. All Star Valentin Zykov, who still holds a share of the league goal scoring lead, has gone scoreless in his last four games after returning from illness. Prior to this slump, the Russian had only failed to find the scoresheet nine times this season and had not gone more than two consecutive games without recording a point.

Since netting a hat trick against Hershey on Dec. 21, Aleksi Saarela has notched one points in his last six games, while Warren Foegele has matched a season long by going scoreless in each of the last four games. Andrew Miller, who racked up 20 points over 17 games from Dec. 1 to Jan. 6 while only being held scoreless twice, is on a three-game scoreless skid, and Janne Kuokkanen has failed to find the scoresheet in his three games since returning from the World Junior Championship.

POTTING GOALS

After a bit of a slow start that saw him record three points through the first 12 games of the season, Andrew Poturalski has ramped up his offensive production. Last season’s leading scorer has picked up 17 points over the last 26 games and has been a bright spot among the team’s current skid, lighting the lamp in three of the last five games.

OFF THE MARK

Lucas Wallmark’s presence in the lineup has proven to be a catalyst for the Checkers.

The Swede has only played 20 games with the Checkers this season, including just eight since Nov. 10, but still ranks fourth on the team with 23 points. The team is 15-5-0 with Wallmark in the lineup and 6-11-1 without him, including a 1-5-0 mark since his last appearance with the team.

Wallmark was slated to suit up for the Checkers this past weekend against the Marlies but late injuries up top led the Hurricanes recalling the forward prior to game time. With Carolina on its bye week until Saturday, Wallmark should be a welcome addition to Charlotte’s lineup for at least the two-game set against Bridgeport.

SPECIAL TEAMS STRUGGLES

The Checkers’ once lethal power play has gone cold as of late. Charlotte has failed to convert on the power play in six of the last seven games, all of which have resulted in losses.

The other side hasn’t fared much better, as the Checkers have surrendered a power-play goal in 11 of their last 13 contests, though they were able to silence Toronto’s man advantage on Saturday, hopefully sparking a strong run on the penalty kill.

Ranks

  • Andrew Miller ranks 11th in the AHL in scoring (34)
  • Valentin Zykov is tied for the league lead in goals (19) and power-play goals (11), ranks second in the AHL in shooting percentage (29.7)
  • Warren Foegele leads the league in shorthanded points (6) and is tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals (4), is tied for seventh among league rookies in scoring (27) and tied for third in goals (17) and ranks fifth among AHL rookies in shooting percentage (21.5)
  • Trevor Carrick ranks second in the AHL in power-play assists (14) and is tied for sixth among league blue liners in assists (18)
  • Philip Samuelsson is tied for fourth in the AHL in plus-minus (+21)
  • Alex Nedeljkovic is tied for fourth in the AHL in wins (14)

INJURIES

  • Sergey Tolchinsky missed five games starting 12/30
  • Aleksi Saarela missed one game starting 1/13

Transactions

Incoming

  • Jan. 14: (C) Lucas Wallmark assigned to Charlotte (AHL)
  • Jan. 13: (C) Mitchell Head recalled by Charlotte (AHL)

Outgoing

  • Jan. 10: (F) Steven Lorentz assigned to Florida (ECHL)

Coming Up

Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 pm - Checkers vs. Bridgeport

  • 1950s Night - throwback pricing includes tickets costing $2 or less, plus $1 hot dogs, 50 cent soda and 50 cent popcorn! SOLD OUT

Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 7 pm - Checkers vs. Bridgeport

Farm BureauBud LightHendrick Acura
  • Winning Wednesday presented by Farm Bureau - Enjoy $1 beer presented by Bud Light and get a free ticket to our next Wednesday game if we win
  • College Night presented by Hendrick Acura - Get $15 best available tickets in the Gold and Attack Zone sections when purchasing online with your valid college email address. Click the button and use promo code CHECKERS (case sensitive).

Saturday, Jan. 20 at 6 pm - Checkers vs. Rochester

Verizon
  • Domestic Violence Prevention Night presented by Verizon - players to wear special purple jerseys, with postgame live auction proceeds benefiting the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage

Sunday, Jan. 21 at 1 pm - Checkers vs. Rochester

CEENTANovant Health

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 20.1% 6th 4th
Penalty kill 81.9% 18th t-16th
Goals per game 3.47 3rd 2nd
Shots per game 29.95 t-17th 18th
Goals allowed per game 3.08 18th t-15th
Shots allowed per game 27.32 3rd 3rd
Penalty minutes per game 12.74 8th 9th


Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.

CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Andrew Miller (34), Valentin Zykov, Warren Foegele (27)
Goals Valentin Zykov (19), Warren Foegele (17), Aleksi Saarela (13)
Assists Andrew Miller (25), Trevor Carrick (18), Nicolas Roy (15)
Power play goals Valentin Zykov (11), Aleksi Saarela (6), Patrick Brown, Andrew Poturalski (4)
Shorthanded goals Warren Foegele (4), Nicolas Roy (2)
Game-winning goals Andrew Poturalski, Valentin Zykov, Warren Foegele (4)
Shots on goal Aleksi Saarela (83), Warren Foegele (79), Andrew Poturalski (70)
Penalty minutes Zack Stortini, Trevor Carrick (48), Patrick Brown (40)
Plus/minus Philip Samuelsson (+21), Roland McKeown (+18), Patrick Brown (+14)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (14)
Goals-against average Alex Nedeljkovic (2.82)
Save percentage Jeremy Smith (.902)