The Checkers began their third season in the American Hockey League in successful fashion, taking three out of a possible four points from their first two games.
It was very nearly a perfect weekend against new South Division rivals, with Charlotte beating Houston 3-1 in their season premiere on Saturday before falling 4-3 in a nine-round shootout in Texas on Sunday. Zach Boychuk led the way offensively with four points (1g, 3a), including a three-point performance against the Stars.
The Checkers now return to Charlotte for three days of practice before continuing their franchise-record-tying, nine-game road swing with a three-in-three set through Milwaukee and Rockford starting Friday.
Week in Review
Last week's record
Last 10 games
Checkers 3, Houston 1
The Checkers broke open a scoreless game five minutes into the third period with goals by newcomer Tim Wallace and last year's scoring leader Chris Terry just 1:23 apart to take the lead for good in Houston on Saturday. Justin Peters made 27 saves for Charlotte, which won its first game of the regular season for the first time in three seasons as an AHL franchise. Jerome Samson added an empty-net goal for Charlotte, with defenseman Justin Faulk chipping in two assists and a game-high seven shots on goal. Full Recap
Texas 4, Charlotte 3 (SO)
After building a 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Zach Boychuk, Riley Nash and Bobby Sanguinetti, the Checkers allowed Texas to rally in the third period before falling in the ninth round of the shootout on Sunday. The Stars' Cody Eakin scored two goals, including the tying goal while shorthanded with 4:42 remaining in regulation, with Charlotte's Dan Ellis making 39 saves in his first AHL game since May 12, 2007. Boychuk added two assists for his first three-point game since April 1, 2011, while Jerome Samson scored the Checkers' lone goal in the shootout. Full Recap
The Checkers will be hosting a charity cornhole tournament on Saturday at The Gin Mill. Register:Online | Email | (704) 444-1875
Checkers forward Zach Boychuk scored points in each of the team's first two games, including a one-goal, two-assist performance in Texas on Sunday, to become the team's early scoring leader. Boychuk, who led the team with 65 points in 2010-11 and with 21 goals in 2011-12, recorded his first three-point night since April 1, 2011, having scored two points on 13 different occasions last season. Boychuk enters the week in a four-way tie for second in AHL scoring behind Syracuse forward Cory Conacher, the league's reigning MVP. He leads the league in power-play assists (3) and is tied for the the league lead in power-play points (3).
Checkers forward Tim Wallace, who signed a two-way contract with Carolina in the offseason, scored the team's first goal of the preseason two weeks ago and its first goal of the regular season against Houston on Saturday. After adding an assist on Sunday, Wallace now has 22 points in his last 26 AHL contests, including points in each of his last four dating back to last season (1g, 3a).
Sunday's shootout loss in Texas dropped the Checkers to 1-5 in their last six shootouts dating back to last season. The team is now 11-14 in shootouts over the course of its three AHL seasons.
Starting with this weekend's trip through Milwaukee and Rockford, the Checkers will play three games in three nights seven times this season, down from the eight they played in each of their first two AHL campaigns. The Checkers are 25-19-4 all-time in games that are part of a three-in-three set, with a record of 7-7-2 in Game One, 11-3-2 in Game Two and 7-9-0 in Game Three.
The Checkers begin the 2012-13 campaign with a nine-game road swing that ties a team record set in October and November of last season. They finished that trip with a record of 5-4-0 en route to a 20-13-5 record for the entire season, and are 1-0-1 to start this season's swing.
Including last weekend's games in Houston and Texas, each of the Checkers' first four games of the season will mark the opposing team's home opener. That continues this weekend, when Charlotte visits Milwaukee on Friday and Rockford on Saturday. The Checkers' home opener on Nov. 4 is the latest of any AHL team, with the next-latest coming two weeks earlier on Oct. 20 when Hershey, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Worcester all play at home for the first time.
Tim Wallace has points in each of his last four games (Dec. 3-Oct. 14; 1g, 3a)*
Zach Boychuk has assists points in each of his last two games (Oct. 13-14; 1g, 3a)
Chris Terry has points in each of his last two games (Oct. 13-14; 1g, 1a)
Friday, Oct. 19 at Milwaukee (8 p.m.)
Saturday, Oct. 20 at Rockford (8:05 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 21 at Rockford (6:05 p.m.)
By the Numbers
Goals per game
Shots per game
Goals allowed per game
Shots allowed per game
Penalty minutes per game
Zach Boychuk (4), Justin Faulk, Chris Terry, Tim Wallace (2)
Zach Boychuk, Riley Nash, Jerome Samson, Bobby Sanguinetti, Chris Terry, Tim Wallace (1)
Zach Boychuk (3), Justin Faulk (2), five tied with (1)
Power play goals
Riley Nash, Bobby Sanguinetti, Tim Wallace (1)
Chris Terry (1)
Shots on goal
Justin Faulk (10), Jerome Samson (9), Chris Terry (7),
Rasmus Rissanen (8), Bobby Sanguinetti (6), three tied with (4)
Justin Faulk, Rasmus Rissanen (+2), five tied at (+1)