The Checkers marched into Iowa and came away with their first win of the season Friday, but couldn’t pull off the sweep, splitting the series with their division rivals.

The team will use this week to regroup and prepare for this weekend's home opener against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    1-3-0
  • Home record
    0-0-0
  • Road record
    1-3-0
  • Last week's record
    1-1-0
  • Last 10 games
    1-3-0
  • Division Standings
    8th
  • Conference Standings
    15th
  • League Standings
    28th

Checkers 8, Iowa 3

After dropping a pair of contests in Texas the week before, the Checkers got in the win column against Iowa, torching the Wild by a score of 8-3. Charlotte jumped out quickly, potting three goals in the span of 56 seconds before pumping in two more later in the frame to head into the first intermissions ahead 5-1. The scoring pace would slow considerably in the final two periods, but the Checkers rode their offensive explosion to an 8-3 victory behind a four-point night from Andrew Poturalski and a three-point night from the captain Derek Ryan. Michael Leighton, making his first start in a Charlotte sweater, made 22 stops to pick up the win. Full recap

Iowa 2, Checkers 1

The Checkers couldn’t replicate the offensive fireworks in the next night’s rematch, however. Ryan put the visitors on the board with a shorthanded snipe late in the first, but Grayson Downing answered shortly after to knot things up after the first 20 minutes. The Wild would strike once more midway through the second and that would be enough, as Iowa netminder Alex Stalock shut down the Checkers’ comeback attempts with 35 saves. Alex Nedeljkovic got the start for Charlotte, making 27 stops. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Lowe

3rd Star

Keegan Lowe- 1g, 1a
Poturalski

2nd Star

Andrew Poturalski- 2g, 2a
Ryan

1st Star

Derek Ryan- 2g, 2a

Notables

Poturalski Lighting It Up

Andrew Poturalski’s red hot start to his rookie year continues to roll on, as he now has six points through the first four games. The 22-year old leads all rookies and is tied for third overall with four goals and is tied for seventh in the AHL in scoring.

Poturalski exploded for four points (2g, 2a) against the Wild in Friday’s blowout victory, falling just one point shy of matching the franchise’s all-time record set by Zach Boychuk. As far as single-season rookie records go, Zac Dalpe’s 23 goal, 57 point campaign in 2010-11 stands as the current mark.

Shorthanded Success

With Derek Ryan finding the back of the net during a penalty kill on Saturday, the Checkers are now one of just three teams in the league with multiple shorthanded goals, with only 14 of the 30 teams registering even one thus far.

Last season the Checkers scored just five shorthanded goals over the course of the season, putting them in the bottom five in the AHL.

The Captain Steps Up

Sutter Carrick
  • Leighton Embracing Mentor Role With Checkers Read More

Last Week's News

Last year’s leading scorer Derek Ryan continues to have the scoring touch with Charlotte, racking up five points through the first four games. The captain chipped in on the Checkers’ big win over Iowa on Friday with a goal and a pair of helpers before adding another goal on Saturday.

Ryan is leading the team by shooting at a 30 percent clip, and all three of his tallies this year have come via special teams (two power-play goals, one shorthanded goal).

Slow Start

The Checkers’ 1-3-0 record coming out of the gate is their slowest start to a season since 2014-15. The longest it’s taken the team to collect their second win of the season was the seventh game in 2010-11.

Charlotte has only finished the month of October below .500 twice, in 2010-11 and 2014-15.

Back Home

The Checkers will return to Bojangles’ Coliseum this weekend for their home opener, but will be looking to reverse their fortune from the end of last season.

The team lost their final three home contests last season, a slump that contributed to their missing the playoffs. The good news, however, is that immediately prior to that stretch, the Checkers rattled off a seven-game point streak.

As far as home openers go, the Checkers have only won two in their six years as an AHL franchise, with the last instance coming in the 2012-13 campaign.

Ranks

  • Andrew Poturalski leads all rookies in goals (4) and is tied for the lead in points (6) and is tied for third and seventh overall, respectively. He is also tied for the rookie lead in plus-minus (+5) and tied for second among rookies in shots (14)
  • Patrick Brown is tied for second in the AHL in shorthanded goals and points (1)
  • Derek Ryan is tied for fifth in the league in power-play goals (2) and tied for 17th in scoring
  • Brock McGinn is tied for fifth in the AHL in shots (18)
  • Trevor Carrick is tied for second among league defensemen in shots (15)

Injuries

  • N/A

Transactions

Incoming

  • N/A

Outgoing

  • N/A

Coming Up

Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:15 pm - Checkers vs. Grand Rapids

  • Opening Night at Bojangles' Coliseum
  • Magnet schedule giveaway presented by Novant Health
  • T-shirt giveaway to the first 2,000 fans

Saturday, Oct. 29 at 6 pm - Checkers vs. Grand Rapids

Presented by Air ForcePresented by Hendrick Acura
  • Military Appreciation Night presented by U.S. Air Force
  • Air Force Swear-In
  • Super Hero Night - meet your favorite characters and have your photo taken before the game! Tickets to the pregame event and game cost $20, while a package including a special super hero puck is available for $25. Call (704) 342-4423 or email [email protected]
  • Family Night - save $45 (40 percent) on groups of four tickets when purchasing online!
  • College Night presented by Hendrick Acura - save on tickets by using your valid college email address! Click here for info.
  • Shoe drive benefiting Samaritans Feet - donate a pair of shoes to receive a free ticket to 11/23

By the Numbers

Team Statistics
CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 10.0% t-22nd 19th
Penalty kill 82.4% 17th 22nd
Goals per game 3.25 11th t-16th
Shots per game 37.50 3rd 1st
Goals allowed per game 3.75 26th t-28th
Shots allowed per game 28.00 11th 17th
Penalty minutes per game 13.25 t-13th 18th
Team Leaders
CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Andrew Poturalski (6), Derek Ryan (5), Patrick Brown (4)
Goals Andrew Poturalski (4), Derek Ryan (3), Six tied (1)
Assists Patrick Brown (3), Six tied (2)
Power play goals Derek Ryan (2)
Shorthanded goals Patrick Brown, Derek Ryan (1)
Game-winning goals Andrew Poturalski (1)
Shots on goal Brock McGinn (18), Trevor Carrick (15), Andrew Poturalski (14)
Penalty minutes Mitchell Heard (14), Kyle Hagel (7), Valentin Zykov (6)
Plus/minus Andrew Poturalski (+5), Patrick Brown (+2), Three tied (+1)
Wins Michael Leighton (1)
Goals-against average Michael Leighton (3.00)
Save percentage Michael Leighton (.878)
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.