November 07, 2011 12:04 PM
(Twitter: @Paul Branecky)
Overall record: 8-4-1 (Home 4-1-0 | Road 4-3-1)
Last week’s record: 2-1-0
Standings: 1st Midwest Division | 2nd Western Conference
For the third consecutive week, the Checkers finished with a record of 2-1-0 on a three-games-in-three days road trip. This time, they dropped the first contest by a 3-1 score in Milwaukee before picking back-to-back wins against more rested squads in Grand Rapids (2-1) and Rockford (4-2). The team’s most recent winning streak lands them in second place in the Western Conference.
The Checkers have one more hectic road trip coming up that will conclude a run of three consecutive three-in-threes. They will begin by facing Oklahoma City, a team that is currently level with the Checkers in the standings with 17 points, on Friday and Saturday before heading out to face No. 1 Houston on Sunday.
Milwaukee 3, Charlotte 1 – Recap
The Checkers had a tough night on special teams to begin their road trip, allowing Milwaukee to score three power-play goals on five opportunities while going 0-8 on the man advantage themselves. Chris Durno scored his first goal as a Checker to get his team back within a goal near the end of the second period, but that was all the team could muster as they lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time all season.
Charlotte 2, Grand Rapids 1 – Recap
In sharp contrast to Friday’s game, the Checkers made good of limited opportunities on special teams, with rookie Justin Faulk scoring the game-winner on a second-period power play and the team killing off a potentially costly five-minute major penalty to Chris Terry. Goalie Justin Peters’ return from injury was a successful one, as he made 26 saves in his first start since Oct. 21. Nicolas Blanchard got the Checkers going with his second goal of the season near the start of the second period, tying the score at 1-1.
Charlotte 4, Rockford 2 – Recap
Jerome Samson scored two power-play goals and extended his point streak to seven games as the Checkers took a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back to ensure a winning record on their road trip. Jared Staal and Michal Jordan scored their first and second goal of the season, respectively, to open the scoring for Charlotte, while Mike Murphy made 28 saves to preserve the lead in the third period.
• With two wins over the weekend, the Checkers improved to 6-3-0 in three-in-three games this season, going 1-2-0 in game one, 3-0-0 in game two and 2-1-0 in game three. Historically, game one is the only game in which the team has a losing record, as it has gone 4-5-2 over the last two seasons. Charlotte is in the midst of playing three-in-threes on four consecutive weekends, with four more such sets spread throughout the remainder of the season.
• Prior to a three-goal outburst in the first period of Sunday’s game, the Checkers had scored a total of just seven first-period goals in their previous 12 games. However, they’ve scored a league-leading 18 goals in the second period, while allowing a league-high 17 in the third – the only period in which they have a negative goal differential (-9). Their +11 differential in the second period is the tied with Houston’s third period for the largest differential, positive or negative, by any team in any period this season.
• With two goals on Sunday, forward Jerome Samson extended his point streak to seven games (4g, 6a). His streak, the second-longest current run in the AHL behind Houston forward Jon DiSalvatore’s nine-game streak, is the fourth seven-game streak of his five-year professional career and one shy of his career high eight-game streak set with Albany in 2009-10. Six of the seven games have come on the road, giving him the longest current road streak in the AHL and tying him with Hershey’s Keith Aucoin for the longest road streak by any player this season.
Samson, the AHL’s leader in shots on goal with 69, is now the Checkers’ leader in points (14), goals (7) and power-play goals (3). He has also moved into a six-way tie for ninth in AHL point scoring. He has been held scoreless in just three of the Checkers’ 13 games this season.
• Goalie Mike Murphy, who has started nine of the Checkers’ 13 games this season, ranks tied for third in the AHL in wins (6) fourth in save percentage (.932), 10th in goals-against average (2.18) and second in total saves (276). The third-year pro has recorded six of the Checkers’ eight victories this season, and is one of just three goaltenders to have stopped all comers in the shootout (5-5).
• Defenseman Justin Faulk ranks tied for sixth among AHL rookie defensemen in scoring with 6 points (2g, 4a) in nine games. In comparison to the players tied with or ahead of him on that list, Faulk is the youngest (19) and has played the fewest games. Faulk, who leads all Checkers defensemen in scoring, recently recorded his first career multi-point game and first career game-winning goal in the Checkers' win over Grand Rapids.
|| AHL RANK
|Goals per game:
|Shots per game:
|Goals allowed per game:
|Shots allowed per game:
|Penalty minutes per game:
||Jerome Samson (14), Jon Matsumoto (13), Chris Terry (8)
||Jerome Samson (7), Drayson Bowman (5)
||Jon Matsumoto (9), Jerome Samson (7), Chris Terry (6)
|Power play goals:
||Jerome Samson (3)
||Brett Sutter (1)
||Justin Faulk, Jon Matsumoto, Cedric McNicoll, Matthew Pistilli, Jerome Samson, Chris Terry (1)
|Shots on goal:
||Jerome Samson (69), Drayson Bowman, Chris Terry (34)
||Chris Terry (31), Justin Soryal (25), Mathieu Roy (21)
||Drayson Bowman (+5)
||Mike Murphy (6), Justin Peters (2)
||Mike Murphy (2.18), Justin Peters (2.79)
||Mike Murphy (.932), Justin Peters (.911)
Nov. 3 – (LW) Scott Pitt signed to a professional tryout agreement by Charlotte
Nov. 2 – (G) John Muse reassigned to Florida (ECHL) by Charlotte
Nov. 2 – (C) Zac Dalpe assigned to Charlotte by Carolina (NHL)
Nov. 2 – (LW) Drayson Bowman recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Friday, Nov. 11 at Oklahoma City (8 p.m.)
• Saturday, Nov. 12 at Oklahoma City (8 p.m.)
• Sunday, Nov. 13 at Houston (6 p.m.)
Start your week off with a cup of Magnolia Coffee, the official coffee of the Checkers. For more information, call Magnolia Coffee at 704-654-5393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.