Week in Review
Last weeks' record0-1-1
Last 10 games3-6-1
Hartford 3, Checkers 2 (SO)In their second trip of the season to Hartford, the Checkers locked into a low-scoring battle with the Wolf Pack. It took until nearly the midway point of the second period for either side to break through, with Boo Neives slamming home a power-play tally, but Josiah Didier evened the score later in the frame with his first goal in a Charlotte sweater. That deadlock wouldn’t make it to the intermission, however, as Adam Tambellini converted on a slick passing play to give Hartford a one-goal advantage through 40 minutes of play. The Checkers would have one more response in them, with Valentin Zykov ripping a power-play marker early on in the third, and that would wrap up the scoring, sending the contest to overtime. After a scoreless extra frame that saw the Checkers dominate the time of possession, the game proceeded to a shootout. After Hartford converted their first two chances and denied Charlotte’s second shooter, Nicolas Roy came up with the game on the line but had the puck poke checked away from him at the last second, giving the Wolf Pack the win and the extra point in the standings. Full recap
Hartford 4, Checkers 0The next night’s rematch started with a similarly stingy first, but the Wolf Pack blew the second period open with a lethal power-play attack. Scott Kosmachuk cashed in on an early two-man advantage, then Hartford tacked on another during the same power play to double their lead less than three minutes into the second. The Wolf Pack weren’t done there, as Adam Tambellini notched the home squad’s third power-play goal of the frame minutes later to chase starter Jeremy Smith from the game. Despite firing 38 shots on goal over the course of the contest, the Checkers couldn’t solve Hartford netminder Alexandar Georgiev, getting shut out for the third time this season, and an empty netter from the Wolf Pack sealed the 4-0 final. Full recap
Three Stars Of The Week
Josiah Didier1g, 0a
Alex Nedeljkovic0-0-1, 1.28 GAA, .938 SV%
Andrew Poturalski0g, 2a
HALFWAY THEREWhile it may be a bit past the proper hallway mark, the Checkers have made it to the AHL All-Star break, which essentially splits the regular season in two. This season Charlotte has reached the 50-point mark at the All-Star break for the just the second time since 2012-13 and are above .500 at this point for the fifth time in the franchise’s eight AHL seasons.
ALL STARSValentin Zykov and Warren Foegele are currently in Utica representing the Checkers at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic. The first pair of Charlotte forwards to be selected since 2012, Foegele and Zykov helped lead the Eastern Conference to a victory in last night’s Skills Competition. Zykov hit all four targets on seven shots in the Accuracy Shooting challenge, converted his chance at the Breakaway Relay and nearly led a comeback win in the Puck Control Relay, while Foegele came up just short in the Fastest Skater and Pass and Score events before ringing one off the post in his Breakaway Relay attempt.
The duo will suit up for the Atlantic Division tonight in the round robin three-on-three tournament. Only three Checkers have recorded a goal in an AHL All-Star game, with Chris Terry’s two-goal effort in 2012 leading the way.
The game will be broadcast nationally on the NHL Network, as well as for free on AHL Live with the promo code ALLSTAR18.
NED HEATS UPAfter a bit of a tough stretch, Alex Nedeljkovic has returned to his winning ways. The netminder is 3-0-1 in his last five appearances and has been stellar in those contests, logging a goals-against average of 1.94 and a save percentage of .920 during that stretch.
Nedeljkovic now has 17 wins on the season tying him for second among all AHL goaltenders and putting him just one shy of Anders Lindback’s lead. The second-year netminder is the seventh goalie in franchise history to record 17 wins in a single season, while John Muse’s 27 victories in 2013-14 stand as the team record.
POTTING POINTSPrior to the team getting shut out Saturday in Hartford, Andrew Poturalski had been on an offensive tear as of late. The forward had found the score sheet in seven consecutive contests, landing him just one shy of the longest by a Checker this season, and racked up nine points along the way.
Since Dec. 4 Poturalski, who now ranks fourth on the team in scoring, has put up 17 points in 21 games, the second-highest total of any Checkers during that stretch behind only Andrew Miller.
FREE HOCKEYDespite heading to overtime in two of their last three games, the Checkers have seen very few of their contests go beyond regulation relative to the rest of the league. Charlotte has played three overtime games this season, the fewest in the AHL. The Checkers are one of just two teams to not have an overtime loss on their record, while they are one of six teams without a shootout win.
- Valentin Zykov is tied for the league lead in goals (22) and leads the league in power-play goals (12) and shooting percentage (28.9)
- Warren Foegele leads all rookies and is tied for fourth overall in goals (20), is tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals, leads the league in shorthanded points, is tied for fifth among league rookies in scoring (32), is tied for fifth overall in game-winning goals (5) and ranks third among league rookies in shooting percentage (21.3)
- Andrew Miller is tied for 11th in the AHL in goals (39) and tied for fifth in assists (29)
- Trevor Carrick ranks third in the AHL in power-play assists (15) and is tied for fourth among league defensemen in power-play points
- Philip Samuelsson is tied for third in the AHL in plus-minus (+25)
- Alex Nedeljkovic is tied for second in the AHL in wins (17)
- Nicolas Roy is tied for second among AHL rookies in shorthanded goals and points (2)
- Roland McKeown ranks fourth among league blue liners in plus-minus (+22)
- Sergey Tolchinsky missed 11 games starting 12/30
- Jan. 28: (D) Haydn Fleury recalled by Carolina (NHL)
By the Numbers
|CATEGORY||RECORD||AHL RANK||LAST WEEK|
|Goals per game||3.34||4th||3rd|
|Shots per game||29.52||21st||21st|
|Goals allowed per game||3.07||18th||t-16th|
|Shots allowed per game||27.07||3rd||3rd|
|Penalty minutes per game||12.27||10th||8th|
|Points||Andrew Miller (39), Warren Foegele, Valentin Zykov (32)|
|Goals||Valentin Zykov (22), Warren Foegele (20), Aleksi Saarela (14)|
|Assists||Andrew Miller (29), Trevor Carrick (19), Lucas Wallmark (16)|
|Power play goals||Valentin Zykov (12), Aleksi Saarela (6), Patrick Brown, Andrew Poturalski (4)|
|Shorthanded goals||Warren Foegele (4), Nicolas Roy (2), Clark Bishop (1)|
|Game-winning goals||Valentin Zykov, Warren Foegele (5), Andrew Poturalski (4)|
|Shots on goal||Warren Foegele (94), Aleksi Saarela (92), Trevor Carrick (83)|
|Penalty minutes||Trevor Carrick (53), Zack Stortini (48), Patrick Brown (42)|
|Plus/minus||Philip Samuelsson (+25), Roland McKeown (+22), Patrick Brown (+15)|
|Wins||Alex Nedeljkovic (17)|
|Goals-against average||Alex Nedeljkovic (2.67)|
|Save percentage||Jeremy Smith (.897)|