The Checkers saw their perfect start disrupted in their home opener, but a strong win on Saturday gave the home team a split at Bojangles’ Coliseum and kept their winning ways rolling into a tough impending three-in-three series.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    3-1-0
  • Home record
    1-1-0
  • Road record
    2-0-0
  • Last week's record
    1-1-0
  • Last 10 games
    3-1-0
  • Division Standings
    1st
  • Conference Standings
    4th
  • League Standings
    5th

Bridgeport 5, Checkers 3

For their first home contest of the season the Checkers engaged in a tough back and forth battle with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers but ultimately ended up falling just short. The clubs traded even-strength goals for the first 40 minutes, with Andrew Miller notching a power-play tally early in the third to knot the score at three. The Sound Tigers would strike back midway through the frame, however, with a low-angle snipe from blue liner Sebastian Aho. The Checkers would attempt to rally down the stretch but couldn’t capitalize, and a last-minute empty netter by Bridgeport sealed the visitor’s 5-3 win. Full recap

Checkers 3, Bridgeport 2

The Checkers didn’t have to wait long to avenge their home opening loss, though, as they squared off against the Sound Tigers the following day and reversed their fortunes. After the red-hot Scott Eansor put the visitors on top through one period, the Checkers responded with a pair of tallies in the middle frame from Valentin Zykov and Philip Samuelsson. Charlotte extended its lead in the third, with Nick Schilkey pulling off an impressive redirection for his first pro goal in his pro debut. Bridgeport would pull back with one shortly after on the man advantage, but the Checkers put a halt to things there, riding out the one-goal victory. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Nedeljkovic

3rd Star

Alex Nedeljkovic

1-0-0, 2.03 GAA, .933 SV%
Miller

2nd Star

Andrew Miller

1g, 2a
Wallmark

1st Star

Lucas Wallmark

1g, 4a

Notables

HOT START

Despite suffering their first loss of the season this past weekend, the Checkers have come out of the gates strong during the 2017-18 season. By taking six of a possible eight points, Charlotte matched the second-best four-game start in franchise history, trailing only the 2012-13 campaign. That Checkers team lost their fifth contest of the season giving them seven of a possible 10 points to start the year, meaning this year’s squad could set the best five-game start in team history with a regulation win over the Rochester Americans on Friday.

ALL HAIL THE KING

It doesn’t appear that Lucas Wallmark has lost any of his scoring touch heading into his sophomore season, as the forward has racked up eight points through the first four games. The only player with more points than Wallmark league-wide is Chicago’s Teemu Pulkkinen, who has nine points in three games.

While Wallmark’s calling card last season was his goal-scoring ability, the Swede is showing more of his playmaking side early on this year. He has racked up six helpers this season – tied for second-most in the AHL – including a three-assist effort in Saturday’s win over Bridgeport.

NED NOTCHES ANOTHER WIN

Continuing the rotation through the crease, Alex Nedeljkovic took the start on Saturday and turned in an impressive showing. The second-year pro made 28 stops on the night, his most since Feb. 18 of last season, and kept a sharp Bridegport attack at bay.

Nedeljkovic earned his second win of the season Saturday, something that took him until Nov. 22 – six appearances in – last season to hit.

RAW POWER

While their percentage falls near the middle of the league at 12th overall, the Checkers have been producing with the man advantage so far this season. They have notched a power-play goal in each of their first four games, a streak that already tops any from a season ago. Charlotte also recorded its first game with multiple power-play goals on Saturday, a feat that the team accomplished six times last season.

GOING STREAKING

Andrew Miller and Lucas Wallmark have both recorded at least one point in each of the Checkers’ first four games this season. They are the fifth and sixth players in franchise history to kick off a season with at least a four-game point streak and the first since Sergey Tolchinsky and Phil Di Giuseppe did it in 2015-16. The franchise record for longest scoring streak to begin a season belongs to Chris Terry, who found the scoresheet in each of the first nine games during the 2013-14 season.

Ranks

  • Lucas Wallmark ranks second in the AHL in points, tied for second in assists and tied for second in power-play assists
  • Andrew Miller is tied for 15th in the AHL in points
  • Warren Foegele is tied for second in the AHL in goals, leads the league in shorthanded goals and points and is tied for the league-lead in game-winning goals
  • Alex Nedeljkovic is tied for fifth in the AHL in wins
  • Warren Foegele is tied for fourth among league rookies in points and tied for the lead in goals and game-winning goals
  • Roland McKeown is tied for the league lead among defensemen in shorthanded assists
  • Philp Samuelsson is tied for second among AHL defensemen in shooting percentage

INJURIES

  • Brenden Kichton missed 4 games starting Oct. 6

Transactions

Incoming

  • None

Outgoing

  • October 16: (D) Trevor Carrick recalled by Carolina (NHL)

Coming Up

Friday, October 20 at 7:05 pm - Checkers at Rochester

Saturday, October 21 at 4 pm - Checkers at Toronto

Sunday, October 22 at 4 pm - Checkers at Toronto

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 22.7% 12th t-12th
Penalty kill 84.2% 13th 9th
Goals per game 4.00 t-8th t-5th
Shots per game 26.75 t-23rd t-13th
Goals allowed per game 3.25 14th t-11th
Shots allowed per game 30.00 t-15th 16th
Penalty minutes per game 11.25 4th 8th


CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Lucas Wallmark (8), Andrew Miller (5), Warren Foegele, Phil Di Giuseppe (4)
Goals Warren Foegele (4), Valentin Zykov (3), Three tied (2)
Assists Lucas Wallmark (6), Andrew Miller (4), Four tied (2)
Power play goals Valentin Zykov (2), Phil Di Giuseppe, Nick Schilkey, Andrew Miller (1)
Shorthanded goals Warren Foegele (2)
Game-winning goals Warren Foegele (2), Nick Schilkey (1)
Shots on goal Aleksi Saarela (10), Warren Foegele, Lucas Wallmark (9)
Penalty minutes Philip Samuelsson (7), Jake Chelios, Dennis Robertson (6)
Plus/minus Philip Samuelsson (+3), Patrick Brown, Warren Foegele, Lucas Wallmark (+2)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (2)
Goals-against average Jeremy Smith (2.99)
Save percentage Jeremy Smith (.903)
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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