Overall Record: 17-10-4 (Home 10-5-2, Away 7-5-2)
Previous 10: 5-4-1
Standings: 3rd – South Division, 6th – American Conference
As many Canadians and Northeasterners head south for the winter, the Checkers will do the opposite and embark on two northern swings in January, beginning this weekend in Kalamazoo and Toledo. It will be the team’s first ever visit to Kalamazoo and the first to Toledo since the Storm left town after the 2006-07 season. This is good news for the Checkers who are 5-1-0 against non-South Division opponents. Even more good news is the addition of defenseman Ethan Graham, who was returned from Norfolk (AHL). Graham led all Checkers defensemen in scoring before he was called up in early November and will look to make an immediate impact.
Last week, the ECHL announced that Checkers head coach Derek Wilkinson and rookie forward Matt Schepke have been selected to represent the American Conference at the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game.
LAST WEEK’S GAME(S)
Jan. 3 vs. Gwinnett (W 5-2)
The Checkers scored four second-period goals and cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Sunday afternoon. Mike Harder led the way offensively with a goal and two assists while T.J. Reynolds and Randy Rowe chipped in with a goal and an assist each. Just over two minutes into the contest, the Checkers struck first on a goal by Mike Harder. Rowe assisted on the goal for his 400th career ECHL point. In the second period, the Checkers scored a quick goal just 2:29 into the second period followed by three more to take a five-goal lead. Gwinnett would add two goals in the third but it wasn’t enough. Miika Wiikman stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win while Danny Taylor and David Brown combined for 35 saves on 40 shots in a losing cause for the Gladiators.
Ryan Munce (.922) and Miika Wiikman (.919) rank 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in save percentage among all ECHL goaltenders…Tyler Doig is tied for 6th in ECHL scoring with 36 points (9g, 27a)… Randy Rowe has five goals in the last four games…Miika Wiikman has only one regulation loss in 10 games this season (6-1-2)…Andrew Carroll leads all active ECHL players with a .289 shooting percentage (11 goals on 38 shots)…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 137 penalty minutes, and is second in overall ECHL plus-minus with a +19 rating…Derek Couture and Daniel Tkaczuk are on loan to Hartford (AHL) and Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Codey Burki and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
• 400 points – Randy Rowe notched his 400th ECHL point on Sunday.
The Checkers are 9-3-1 in their last 13 home games…Charlotte has only one regulation loss in 17 tries when scoring first (12-1-4)… the Checkers have the 3rd best penalty kill (87.1%) and 4th best power play (21.0%) in the ECHL when on the road…Charlotte ranks 3rd in the ECHL in both goals per game (3.58) and shots per game (35.26)
1/4 Add Ethan Graham Returned from Norfolk (AHL)
1/3 Add Matt Schepke Returned from Albany (AHL)
1/2 Delete Matt Schepke Loaned to Albany (AHL)
12/31 Add Chris Snavely Activated off IR
12/31 Delete Frank Doyle Traded to Alaska
The Checkers will host South Carolina on Wednesday (7 p.m.). Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.