The Checkers kicked off the 2018-19 season in fine fashion, sweeping the Rochester Americans on their home ice with a pair of decisive victories.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

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

Checkers 6, Rochester 2

It took some time to get things going in the season opener, but the Checkers’ offense came to life against the Americans. Janne Kuokkanen kicked off the scoring with a power-play tally late in the first period that was followed seconds later by a point blast from Roland McKeown to double the lead. Rochester pushed back to tie the game at two late in the middle frame, but a strike from Nicolas Roy in the final minute put the Checkers back ahead through 40. The visitors ran away with things in the final frame, with Kuokkanen and Andrew Poturalski each scoring within the first four minutes, followed by Nicolas Roy’s second of the night to clinch a 6-2 victory for the Checkers. Alex Nedeljkovic took his spot between the pipes and made 22 saves while Scott Wedgewood was saddled with the loss for Rochester. Full recap

Checkers 4, Rochester 2

The following night’s rematch was a bit tighter than the previous contest but yielded the same positive result for the visitors. Morgan Geekie’s first pro goal was answered by a pair from the Amerks to give the home squad their first lead of the weekend early on in the second, but that wouldn’t last long. Charlotte’s special teams took over in the middle frame, with Poturalski cashing in on the power play followed by a shorthanded breakaway conversion by Roy. Roy then came back for a power-play tally of his own to put the Checkers ahead by two midway through regulation, and that score would hold strong the rest of the way. Nedeljkovic collected his second win of the season thanks to a hefty 34 saves, while Wedgewood took another loss for the Amerks. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Kuokkanen

3rd Star

Janne Kuokkanen

2g, 2a
Poturalski

2nd Star

Andrew Poturalski

2g, 3a
Roy

1st Star

Nicolas Roy

4g, 2a

Notables

STARTING STRONG

With a sweep of Rochester, the Checkers have started a season with consecutive wins for the fourth time in franchise history and the second year in a row. The team’s longest win streak to start a season was a 3-0-0 run in the 2015-16 season.

ROY WOWS

Nicolas Roy kicked off his second pro season with a bang, logging two goals and an assist in each contest against the Amerks. The 21-year-old now leads the league in both goals and points through the first weekend of play and has matched the best two-game start in franchise history in terms of goals and points, matching Warren Foegele’s four goals in 2017-18 and Jon Matsumoto’s six points in 2011-12.

On Saturday Roy became the third player in franchise history to score both a power-play and shorthanded goal in a single game, joining Brock McGinn in 2016-17 and Chris Terry in 2010-11.

NED STAYS WINNING

Last season’s league wins leader has kept things rolling in 2018-19. Alex Nedeljkovic was between the pipes for both victories against the Amerks over the weekend, making 56 saves along the way. Nedeljkovic, one of only two goalies this season with more than one win, has now earned a point in each of his last seven appearances and 10 of his last 11 dating back to last season.

OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS

After finishing last season as one of the league’s top offenses, the Checkers are right back at it to start the new campaign. Charlotte lit the lamp 10 times over the first two games, trailing only Iowa and Toronto’s 12-goal output thus far. The Checkers have fingerprints all over the individual scoring leaderboard as well, as Roy and Poturalski rank first and second in points, respectively, and Janne Kuokkanen ranks fourth.

Ten goals is tied for the highest goal total through the first two games in franchise history, matching the team’s output from the 2017-18 season.

Ranks

  • Nicolas Roy leads the league in points (6), goals (4) and game-winning goals and is tied for the league lead in power-play goals, power-play points, shots and shorthanded goals
  • Andrew Poturalski ranks second in the league in points (5) and is tied for the league lead in assists (3) and power-play points (3)
  • Janne Kuokkanen is tied for third in the league in points (4)
  • Michal Cajkovsky is tied for the league lead with a +5 rating
  • Spencer Smallman is tied for the league rookie lead in assists (2) and is tied for sixth among rookies in scoring (2) alongside Morgan Geekie
  • Trevor Carrick is tied for the lead among defensemen in power-play assists and points (2), is tied for second in shots (7) and is tied for sixth in scoring (2)
  • Alex Nedeljkovic is tied for the league lead in wins (2), tied for second in minutes played (120) and ranks third in saves (56)

INJURIES

  • Josiah Didier missed 2 games starting 10/5

Transactions

Incoming

  • None

Outgoing

  • None

Coming Up

Friday, October 12 at 7 pm - Checkers at Utica

Saturday, October 13 at 7 pm - Checkers at Syracuse

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 57.1% 2nd N/A
Penalty kill 87.5% t-12th N/A
Goals per game 5.00 6th N/A
Shots per game 35.50 t-6th N/A
Goals allowed per game 2.00 t-7th N/A
Shots allowed per game 30.00 19th N/A
Penalty minutes per game 8.00 t-24th N/A


LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Nicolas Roy (6), Andrew Poturalski (5), Janne Kuokkanen (4)
Goals Nicolas Roy (4), Andrew Poturalski, Janne Kuokkanen (2)
Assists Andrew Poturalski (3), Trevor Carrick, Janne Kuokkanen, Nicolas Roy, Spencer Smallman (2)
Power play goals Nicolas Roy (2), Janne Kuokkanen, Andrew Poturalski (1)
Shorthanded goals Nicolas Roy (1)
Game-winning goals Nicolas Roy (2)
Shots on goal Nicolas Roy (14), Roland McKeown (7), Andrew Poturalski (6)
Penalty minutes Clark Bishop, Trevor Carrick (4), Four tied (2)
Plus/minus Michal Cajkovsky (+5), Nicolas Roy (+3), Three tied (+2)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (2)
Goals-against average Alex Nedeljkovic (2.00)
Save percentage Alex Nedeljkovic (.933)
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.