The Checkers took their red-hot streak and brought it back home, pulling off a perfect week against some Eastern Conference giants.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    24-14-3
  • Home record
    12-7-1
  • Road record
    12-7-2
  • Last week's record
    4-0-0
  • Last 10 games
    9-1-0
  • Division Standings
    3rd
  • Conference Standings
    5th
  • League Standings
    8th

Checkers 4, Hershey 1

The Checkers kicked of the week with a convincing defeat of the surging Bears, thanks in large part to a two-goal performance from defenseman Oliwer Kaski and three helpers from Janne Kuokkanen. Full recap

Checkers 5, Hershey 4

The Checkers roared out to a commanding 5-1 lead in the next night’s rematch, but the Bears punched back with three straight strikes in the third to make things interesting. The Checkers were able to hang on, however, to pull off the weekday sweep of Hershey. Full recap

Checkers 4, Toronto 3 (SO)

After a strong start, the Checkers found themselves down by a goal in the waning moments of the game until Jake Bean threaded a wrist shot home with 27 seconds left to force the contest to overtime. Things would progress to a shootout, where no one could break through until a beauty of a move from Steven Lorentz beat Kasimir Kaskisuo and earned the home team a victory. Full recap

Checkers 7, Toronto 3

The back-and-forth rematch saw the Marlies within a goal late in the second, but the Checkers turned on the afterburners from there and ended up hanging seven tallies on the Marlies to complete the perfect week. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Gauthier

3rd Star

Steven Lorentz

4g, 2a
Gust

2nd Star

Jake Bean

2g, 5a
McCormick

1st Star

Janne Kuokkanen

1g, 8a

FIVE NOTABLES

1) ON THE WAY UP

On Dec. 6 the Checkers were shut out in Rochester and fell to 9-11-3, putting them in last place in the Atlantic Division and second-to-last place in the Eastern Conference. Since then the Checkers have won 15 of their last 18 contests – including their current run of 11 wins in their last 12 – and sit third in the Atlantic Division with the fifth-best record in the conference. Charlotte only trails both Hershey and Hartford by four points, with the Bears and Wolf Pack having played two and one more game, respectively.

2) OFFENSE ON A ROLL

Charlotte’s offensive attack has been their biggest weapon as of late, pouring in goals and vaulting into a tie for the seventh-best goals-for average in the AHL. The Checkers have scored at least four goals in five consecutive games and 13 of their last 16 contests, and have hit at least three goals 27 times with a 22-3-2 record in those situations.

3) JANNE'S HELPING HAND

Janne Kuokkanen continues to rack up the points while facilitating Charlotte’s surging offense. The forward notched back-to-back three-assist outings against Hershey earlier in the week, then came out in the first Toronto matchup with a goal and two more helpers to give him nine points over the four-game week. In fact since Dec. 13, Kuokkanen has compiled 23 points in 17 games, pushing him into the team lead and just six shy of his career-high point total.

4) SHINING STAR

Jake Bean, Charlotte’s representative at the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic, rounded back into form in a big way this week. The blueliner found the scoresheet in each of the four contests, recording seven points (2g, 5a) along the way. Bean has emerged as one of the most productive defensemen in the AHL, currently sitting with 31 points in 39 games thus far.

5) GEEKIE GETS GOING

Morgan Geekie has hit his offensive stride as of late, consistently figuring into Charlotte’s offensive outbursts. The forward has now found the scoresheet in seven straight games, tied for the second-longest such streak by a Checker this season and the longest active streak in the AHL. Most recently Geekie lit the lamp twice in Charlotte’s Sunday win over Toronto, his second two-goal game of the season and first since Oct. 12.

RANKS

  • Janne Kuokkanen is tied for eighth in the AHL in assists (25)
  • Julien Gauthier is tied for seventh in the AHL in goals (19) and tied for ninth in power-play goals (7)
  • Max McCormick ranks second in the AHL in penalty minutes (101) and is tied for the league lead in major penalties (7)
  • Chase Priskie is tied for 11th among all rookies in scoring (23), tied for third in assists (18) and ranked third in power-play assists (10)
  • Jake Bean is tied for second among all defensemen in points (31), tied for fourth in goals (7), ranked third in assists (24), tied for second in power-play points (15), tied for third in power-play assists and tied for fifth in power-play goals (3)

INJURIES

  • Brian Gibbons - Missed one game starting 1/19
  • Kerby Rychel - Missed 21 games starting 12/1
  • Stelio Mattheos - Missed 31 games starting 11/8

Transactions

Incoming

  • 1/20 - Derek Sheppard - Recalled from Florida (ECHL)

Outgoing

  • 1/20 - Cedric Lacroix - Assigned to Greenville (ECHL)

Coming Up

Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Piedmont Natural GAs
  • Share the Warmth presented by Piedmont Natural Gas - free Checkers beanie to the first 1,500 fans

Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. - Checkers vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

NASCAR LeafGuard
  • NASCAR Night presented by LeafGuard - featuring appearances by NASCAR Cup Series drivers Ryan Newman, Cole Custer, Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto and Tyler Reddick, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Anthony Alfredo, and NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series drivers Josh and Kyle Reaume
  • Girl Scout Night - email Katelin Glass for more info

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 23.1% 4th 7th
Penalty kill 88.6% 1st 1st
Goals per game 3.32 t-7th 12th
Shots per game 31.66 7th 8th
Goals allowed per game 2.68 5th 7th
Shots allowed per game 27.85 t-3rd 7th
Penalty minutes per game 14.51 4th 3rd


LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Janne Kuokkanen (34), Jake Bean (31), Steven Lorentz (29)
Goals Julien Gauthier (19), Steven Lorentz (15), Morgan Geekie, Max McCormick (12)
Assists Janne Kuokkanen (25), Jake Bean (24), Chase Priskie (18)
Power play goals Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie (7), Janne Kuokkanen (4)
Shorthanded goals Seven tied (1)
Game-winning goals Morgan Geekie (4), Julien Gauthier, Steven Lorentz (3)
Shots on goal Julien Gauthier (101), Morgan Geekie (87), Jake Bean (83)
Penalty minutes Max McCormick (101), Brian Gibbons (40), Roland McKeown (36)
Plus/minus Steven Lorentz (+19), Fredrik Claesson, Gustav Forsling (+13)
Wins Anton Forsberg, Alex Nedeljkovic (12)
Goals-against average Alex Nedeljkovic (2.49)
Save percentage Alex Nedeljkovic (.905)
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.