The Checkers kicked off their longest road trip of the year by picking up their first sweep, taking down the Belleville Senators on consecutive nights. They’ll now face a busy three-game week on the road, starting Wednesday in Utica.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    8-3-0
  • Home record
    2-2-0
  • Road record
    6-1-0
  • Last week's record
    2-0-0
  • Last 10 games
    7-3-0
  • Division Standings
    2nd
  • Conference Standings
    3rd
  • League Standings
    5th

Checkers 6, Belleville 1

In their first-ever trip to Belleville, the Checkers’ offense struck early and often in a rout of the Senators. Nick Schilkey, Andrew Poturalski and Phil Di Giuseppe all lit the lamp within four minutes of each other during the first half of the opening frame, giving the visitors a comfortable lead right out of the gate. The home squad responded in the second, but Charlotte’s attack didn’t slow down, quickly answering with another pair of goals to wrap up the second. Andrew Miller notched one more for the Checkers in the final frame to seal the lopsided 6-1 victory for Charlotte. Alex Nedeljkovic made 28 saves between the pipes for the Checkers and moved to 6-0-0 on the season. Full recap

Checkers 2, Belleville 1

The following night’s rematch was largely void of the offensive fireworks from Friday. Former Checker Ethan Werek gave Belleville their first lead of the weekend with a first period strike, an advantage that would hold until the third frame when Phil Di Giuseppe sniped a wrister top shelf on the power play to even the score. The Checkers rode that momentum for the remainder of the period and finally broke through in the last five minutes of regulation, when Valentin Zykov swooped in on a breakaway and converted for what would hold as the game-winning goal. Jeremy Smith’s 21 stops were enough to pick up the victory, snapping a three-game losing skid for the veteran netminder. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Ganly

3rd Star

Tyler Ganly

0g, 2a
Di Giuseppe

2nd Star

Phil Di Giuseppe

2g, 1a
Zykov

1st Star

Valentin Zykov

2g, 1a

Notables

EXPLOSIVE OFFENSE

After another outburst on Friday, the Checkers have now scored at least five goals in six of their 11 games played this season. Charlotte is putting up 3.91 goals-per game, the second-highest average in the AHL, and has the third-highest overall goal total this season, with the two clubs ahead of it – Laval and Lehigh Valley – having played two more games.

The Checkers reached the five-goal plateau 10 times during the entirety of last season.

Z LIGHTS IT UP

Valentin Zykov set a career high in goals last season with 16, and looks to be well on his way to shattering that this year. The third-year pro has racked up a team-best seven goals through the first 11 games of this season, tying him for third in the AHL. With eight points in his last five games, Zykov has stormed his way to second on the club in scoring, trailing Lucas Wallmark by just one point.

Zykov’s seven goals are the second-most through the first 11 games of the season in franchise history, trailing only Drayson Bowman, who notched nine goals through the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season.

HOT START

The Checkers are off to their best start in franchise history this season, acquiring 16 of a possible 22 points to begin the campaign. That eclipses the 2012-13 season when they nabbed 15 points through the first 11 games. Charlotte’s 16 points are the second-most in the AHL this season, while the two clubs with 18 points in the standings – Toronto and Lehigh Valley – have played one and two more games, respectively.

ROAD WARRIORS

Whereas last season the Checkers were nearly unbeatable at home, this year’s version of the team has been impressive on the road. Charlotte is 6-1-0-0 away from home this season, tied for the most wins on the road league wide.

By comparison, the Checkers won 12 games on the road all of last season and didn’t pick up their sixth until Jan. 10.

NED STAYS PERFECT

It was another start and another win for Alex Nedeljkovic on Friday as he stopped 28 shots to move to 6-0-0 on the season. The second-year pro is just two wins shy of his season total as a rookie last year, a campaign that didn’t see him record his sixth win until Jan. 21 – his 19th appearance.

Two netminders have gone as long or longer before recording their first loss of the season – Michael Leighton, who started 6-0-0 in 2016-17, and Daniel Altshuller, who went 7-0-1 to begin the 2015-16 campaign.

Ranks

  • Lucas Wallmark is tied for fourth in the league in scoring and tied for third in assists
  • Valentin Zykov is tied for ninth in the AHL in scoring, tied for third in goals and ranked fourth in shooting percentage
  • Warren Foegele is tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals and points and tied for third among league rookies in goals
  • Alex Nedeljkovic is tied for the league lead in wins and ranks 11th in goals-against average

INJURIES

  • Brenden Kichton missed 2 games starting Nov. 3
  • Jake Chelios missed 2 games starting Nov. 3

Transactions

Incoming

  • Oct. 30: (C) Janne Kuokkanen assigned to Charlotte (AHL)
  • Nov. 2: (D) Josiah Didier recalled by Charlotte (AHL)

Outgoing

  • Oct. 31: (C) Patrick Brown recalled by Carolina (NHL)
  • Nov. 1: (D) Roland McKeown recalled by Carolina (NHL)

Coming Up

Wednesday, November 8 at 7 pm - Checkers at Utica

Friday, November 10 at 7 pm - Checkers at Utica

Saturday, November 11 at 7 pm - Checkers at Syracuse

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 17.3% 14th 13th
Penalty kill 84.0% 14th t-20th
Goals per game 3.91 2nd t-3rd
Shots per game 29.82 17th t-23rd
Goals allowed per game 2.91 15th 19th
Shots allowed per game 30.18 t-17th t-25th
Penalty minutes per game 13.64 9th t-17th


CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Lucas Wallmark (13), Valentin Zykov (12), Andrew Miller, Phil Di Giuseppe (10)
Goals Valentin Zykov (7), Warren Foegele (6), Phil Di Giuseppe, Andrew Miller (4)
Assists Lucas Wallmark (10), Andrew Miller, Phil Di Giuseppe (6)
Power play goals Valentin Zykov (3), Nick Schilkey, Phil Di Giuseppe (2)
Shorthanded goals Warren Foegele (2)
Game-winning goals Warren Foegele, Valentin Zykov (2)
Shots on goal Phil Di Giuseppe (28), Lucas Wallmark (26), Warren Foegele (25)
Penalty minutes Zack Stortini (23), Trevor Carrick (17), Philip Samuelsson (13)
Plus/minus Philip Samuelsson (+8), Trevor Carrick (+7), Sergey Tolchinsky, Lucas Wallmark (+5)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (6)
Goals-against average Alex Nedeljkovic (2.35)
Save percentage Alex Nedeljkovic (.916)
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.

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