January 16, 2012 9:26 AM
Overall record: 22-14-4 (Home 13-6-3 | Road 9-8-1)
Last week’s record: 1-1-1 | Last 10 games: 5-3-2
Standings: 1st Midwest Division | 2nd Western Conference
Having endured their toughest stretch of the season in terms of injuries and recalls, the Checkers ultimately finished the week right where they started – with the Midwest Division lead.
The Checkers regained sole possession of that honor with a 4-2 victory over Grand Rapids on Sunday that ended a three-game winless streak and broke a standings tie with the Chicago Wolves in an ever-tightening divisional race. In addition to the previous week’s loss in Chicago, the Charlotte dropped back-to-back decisions at home against Hershey that included one shootout loss on Wednesday.
Charlotte’s four-game home stand will continue with a rematch against Grand Rapids on Tuesday. After that, they make their longest road trip of the season in terms of miles traveled when they visit the Abbotsford Heat in for games on Friday and Saturday.
Hershey 3, Checkers 2 (SO) - Recap
In the first meeting since Charlotte defeated Hershey in the first round of last season’s playoffs, the Checkers took the Bears to the longest shootout in team history, ultimately losing 3-2 on Garrett Mitchell’s goal in the 12th round on Wednesday. Zach Boychuk opened the scoring in the first period and tied it in the third for both of Charlotte’s goals, while Mike Murphy made 28 saves.
Hershey 4, Checkers 3 - Recap
Hershey scored four unanswered goals to erase a 2-0 first-period deficit en route to an eventual 4-3 win in Charlotte on Thursday. Chris Terry and Matt Pistilli opened the scoring for Charlotte, with Zach Boychuk providing a glimmer of hope by putting his team within a goal on a lengthy power play with 1:03 remaining. Charlotte’s Mike Murphy stopped 24 shots.
Checkers 4, Grand Rapids 2 - Recap
Rookie defenseman Rasmus Rissanen scored his first professional goal to break a 2-2 tie with 6:34 remaining in the third period to propel his team to a 4-2 victory over Grand Rapids on Sunday. The goal came less than two minutes after the Griffins had rallied to erase a 2-0 deficit that had been created when Justin Soryal and Zac Dalpe scored in the first and second periods, respectively. Checkers goalie Mike Murphy made 31 saves on his 23rd birthday to record the victory.
• Checkers with the Checkers raises over $5,000
The Checkers and 106.5 The END held the inaugural event Friday at Buffalo Wild Wings and raised $5,344 for Hayden’s Hope, a local extension of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
• Checkers rest up
Team takes advantage of rare day off to tend to growing injury list
• Sixth annual Race Night set for Jan. 27
Sprint Cup legend Geoff Bodine will headline the event on Friday, Jan. 27, when the team hosts the Rockford IceHogs.
• Checkers lose Joslin, recall Murray
Hurricanes recall Joslin from conditioning stint; Checkers recall Chris Murray from Florida
• Samson makes most of opportunity
Forward scores first career NHL goal in season debut with Hurricanes
• Hurricanes recall Jerome Samson
Checkers’ leading goal scorer earns first NHL stint of season
• CLOSE CALLS: The Checkers have played 22 games decided by just one goal this season, tying them for third-most in the league. Of the four other teams that have played just as many or more one-goal games this season, the Checkers have the highest winning percentage in those contests with a record of 13-5-4 (.682).
• STRONG FINNISH: Rookie defenseman Rasmus Rissanen’s first professional goal was the game-winner in Charlotte’s 4-2 victory over Grand Rapids on Sunday. Rissanen became the 21st player to score a goal with the Checkers this season, leaving Justin Krueger and Bobby Sanguinetti as the only Charlotte regulars still looking for their first tally. The goal by Rissanen, who scored one regular-season goal in his final season of junior hockey with the Everett Silvertips, was the first by a Checkers defenseman since Brett Bellemore scored for the first and only time this season on Dec. 18
• A MAJOR PLUS: Rookie defenseman Justin Krueger posted a plus-5 rating over three games last week, putting him in first place on the team with a season total of plus-9. Krueger is just one of six active Checkers players with a positive plus/minus rating, with Drayson Bowman and Justin Shugg (plus-5) tied for second place.
• A BETTER MONTH: Having experienced a season-high, six-game pointless streak to begin December, Checkers forward Zac Dalpe has points in five of six games during the month of January, including an active five-game point streak (4g, 2a) that marks a new season high. Dalpe’s January run coincides with his most recent reassignment from the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, where he posted 2 points (1g, 1a) during a four-game stint.
• BOYCHUK GETTING GOALS: During the Checkers’ two-game set against Hershey last week, Checkers forward Zach Boychuk became the third player on the team to hit the double-digit mark in goals (12). Boychuk has tallied three times in his last three games, including his third multi-goal effort of the season on Wednesday. With 12 goals in 29 games, Boychuk has the highest goals-per game average of any Checkers player (.414).
• HOME AND AWAY: The Checkers’ 29 points earned at home this season are tied with Milwaukee for the most in the AHL. With a record of 13-6-3 this season, the AHL Checkers have improved to 35-19-7 all-time at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Checkers recently broke the .500 mark on the road for the first time since Dec. 9 and now have a season record of 9-8-1.
• Zac Dalpe has points in each of his last five games (Jan. 7-15; 4g, 2a).
• Mike Murphy has started five consecutive games in goal (Jan. 7-15; 2-2-1).
• Jon Matsumoto has assists and points in each of his last two games (Jan. 12-15; 3a).
• Bobby Sanguinetti has assists and points in each of his last two games (Jan. 12-15; 3a).
• Chris Terry has goals and points in each of his last two games (Jan. 12-15; 2g, 1a).
|| AHL RANK
|Goals per game:
|Shots per game:
|Goals allowed per game:
|Shots allowed per game:
|Penalty minutes per game:
||Jon Matsumoto (32), Chris Terry (28), Jerome Samson (27)
||Jerome Samson (15), Jon Matsumoto (19), Zach Boychuk (12)
||Chris Terry (20), Jon Matsumoto (16), Bobby Sanguinetti (15)
|Power play goals:
||Jerome Samson (8), Jon Matsumoto (5), Zach Boychuk (4)
||Five players tied at (1)
||Jerome Samson, Zach Boychuk (3)
|Shots on goal:
||Jerome Samson (160), Chris Terry (95)
||Justin Soryal (96), Nicolas Blanchard (61), Chris Terry (45)
||Justin Krueger (+9), Drayson Bowman, Justin Shugg (+5)
||Mike Murphy (14), Justin Peters (6), John Muse (2)
||John Muse (0.58), Justin Peters (2.49), Mike Murphy (2.56)
||John Muse (.985), Justin Peters (.920), Mike Murphy (.915)
• Jan. 15 – (G) John Muse recalled to Charlotte from Florida (ECHL)
• Jan. 13 – (G) John Muse reassigned to Florida (ECHL) from Charlotte
• Jan. 12 – (D) Chris Murray recalled to Charlotte from Florida (ECHL)
• Jan. 12 – (D) Derek Joslin recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Jan. 11 – (RW) Matt Beca recalled to Charlotte from Florida (ECHL)
• Jan. 10 - (RW) Jerome Samson recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Tuesday, Jan. 17 vs. Grand Rapids (7 p.m.)
- 12 oz. Bud Lights for $3.50
• Friday, Jan. 20 at Abbotsford (10 p.m.)
• Saturday, Jan. 21 at Abbotsford (10 p.m.)
Start your week off with a cup of Magnolia Coffee, the official coffee of the Checkers. For more information, visit their website, call Magnolia Coffee at 704-654-5393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.