The Checkers wrapped up their Canadian road trip in convincing fashion, dominating the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies for a 5-0 victory.
Alex Nedeljkovic held down the fort with a perfect performance in the crease against the Marlies’ fourth-ranked offense, stopping all 34 shots he faced to pick up his first shutout of the season. The netminder’s stellar showing also included denying a penalty shot attempt and helping the Checkers kill the two penalties they were assessed, including one inside of the final five minutes of regulation.
Offensively the Checkers came out fast and furious, notching three goals in the opening frame to give themselves some breathing room, then added another tally in the second and third frames to run away with the contest. Five different Checkers found the back of the net and three different skaters – Jake Bean, Andrew Poturalski and Martin Necas – all recorded multi-point games.
The Checkers finished a three-in-three weekend with a perfect 3-0-0 record for the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since 2013 … The Checkers have now won three straight and earned a point in five straight … The Checkers dressed 11 forwards for the third straight game … Tonight was Alex Nedeljkovic’s first shutout of the season and the seventh of his career, tying him for the most in franchise history … Julien Gauthier extended his goal streak to three games, tying him for the longest such streak by a Checker this season … Andrew Poturalski extended his point streak to five games and is now tied for fifth in the AHL in scoring … Martin Necas extended his point streak to three games and now ranks fourth among all AHL rookies in scoring … Nicolas Roy extended his point streak to four games … Tonight was the first road shutout for Charlotte since the 2016-17 season … Nedeljkovic is now a perfect 3-for-3 on penalty shots against him … Spencer Smallman and Josiah Didier missed the game due to injury … Zack Stortini, Steven Lorentz and Bobby Sanguinetti were all healthy extras
The Checkers will now return to Charlotte for their first home stand of the new year, starting Friday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
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.