January 30, 2012 3:01 PM
Overall record: 26-16-4 (Home 15-7-3 | Road 11-9-1)
Last week’s record: 2-1-0 | Last 10 games: 5-4-1
Standings: 1st Midwest Division | 2nd Western Conference
Though they may not have won their most recent game, the Checkers hit the All-Star break in good shape, having won five of their last seven.
That run put the Checkers at 26-16-4 at the unofficial halfway point of the season (in terms of games played, they’re well ahead of that mark), with a four-point lead in the Midwest Division. The Chicago Wolves trail them by four points with two games in hand, while Milwaukee, previously the Checkers’ closest competition to this point, has fallen behind with a record of 2-7-1 in its last 10.
The Checkers, who have played more home games (25) than all but three other AHL teams, now enter a stretch in which they play seven of their next eight on the road beginning with a Friday match-up against the AHL-leading Oklahoma City Barons. Charlotte plays just three home games in February, beginning with a Feb. 12 contest against Norfolk.
CHECKERS 4, NORFOLK 2 – RECAP
In the final game of a three-game road swing that began in western Canada, the Checkers defeated regional rival Norfolk by a 4-2 score on Tuesday. Brett Sutter, Drayson Bowman and Matthew Pistilli scored to give the Checkers a 3-1 lead before recent trade acquisition Evgenii Dadonov sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, his first goal as a Checker. John Muse, pressed into a spot start as Mike Murphy was injured during warm-ups, made 29 saves to improve to 4-0-0 at the AHL level this season.
CHECKERS 4, ROCKFORD 3 (SO) – RECAP
Beginning with Peter LeBlanc’s goal with 1:01 remaining in the second period, Rockford rallied back to erase a 3-0 Checkers lead but ultimately fell in the shootout on Thursday. Riley Nash (two goals) and Zac Dalpe scored power-play goals for Charlotte, which earned a point in its five meetings against the division rival IceHogs this season (4-0-1). John Muse made 29 saves and stopped three of five in the shootout to maintain his perfect 5-0-0 record this season.
ROCKFORD 3, CHECKERS 2 – RECAP
Rockford rallied back for the second consecutive day, scoring three unanswered goals to beat the Checkers 3-2 Friday in Charlotte. Defensemen Bobby Sanguinetti and Rasmus Rissanen scored for the Checkers, who failed to earn a point for the first time in six meetings with the IceHogs. The game was also the first regulation loss of the season for John Muse, who stopped 27 shots in his third consecutive start.
Hurricanes Recall Riley Nash
Checkers center earns second NHL recall
High praise for Bowman, Nash
Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford identifies Checkers’ top forward prospects
Terry in two events at skills competition
Checkers’ All-Star representative takes part in puck control and breakaway relays.
Checkers, Bobcats announce double header April 7
The Checkers host Abbotsford at noon before the Bobcats take on Atlanta at 8 p.m.
New faces settling in
Trade acquisitions Evgenii Dadonov, A.J. Jenks and Joe Sova adjusting on the fly.
Checkers bring in goaltending help
Team signs Pier-Olivier Pelletier to tryout contract after injury to starter Mike Murphy.
Terry selected to All-Star Classic
Checkers forward replaces injured teammate Jerome Samson.
Dalpe returns to Charlotte
Hurricanes reassign forward during NHL All-Star break.
• RECORD STREAKS: Forward Chris Terry and defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti have recorded at least one point in each of their last eight games, tying a team record set by Terry earlier this season. Terry, who will play in his first AHL All-Star Classic on Monday, has 15 points (4g, 11a) while Sanguinetti has 12 (4g, 8a) dating back to the Checkers’ Jan. 12 game against Hershey. The streaks are the second-longest active runs in the AHL.
Terry, in his third professional season, has already equaled his career high in assists (30) and is on pace to set a new personal best in points (67). He also has an active five-game assist streak, which ties another one of his team records from earlier this season. Despite missing 11 games this season, Sanguinetti, in his fourth AHL season, is on pace to set new career highs in assists (37) and points (45). Terry ranks first on the team and tied for 10th in AHL scoring, while Sanguinetti ranks third on the team and tied for 12th among league defensemen in points.
• POWER SURGE: The Checkers have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their last eight games, setting a new team record. During that span, which dates back to Jan. 12, they have converted 14 of 38 chances (36.8 percent) to pull into second in the AHL with a season mark of 22.1. Bobby Sanguinetti (11 power-play points), Chris Terry (9) and Drayson Bowman (7) have been the top individual contributors as the team has scored multiple power-play goals in four of those contests, twice tying a single-game season record with three.
• FINDING MUSE: Prior to suffering a 3-2 loss against Rockford on Friday, John Muse began his AHL career with wins in each of his first six appearances. Starting with his professional debut with Portland at the conclusion of his college career last season and continuing through five Checkers games this season, Muse is 5-0-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .950 save percentage at the AHL level. Muse, a 23-year-old undrafted free agent signed by the Checkers this offseason, began the season with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, where he posted a 7-3-2 record, 2.31 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
• THIRD PERIODS: The Checkers have been out-scored 50-36 in third periods this season, their only period in which they have a negative goal differential (-14). They have suffered a league-high six regulation losses when leading after two periods, including each of their last three regulation losses, but have also found themselves in that situation 27 times, the most of any other AHL team. Conversely, Charlotte has a +10 goal differential in the first period and is +13 in the second. Four of the Checkers’ six regulation losses when leading after two periods have come on home ice.
• HOME ICE ADVANTAGE: The Checkers’ 33 points earned at home this season are the most in the AHL. With a record of 15-7-3 this season, the AHL Checkers have improved to 37-20-7 all-time at Time Warner Cable Arena.
• Bobby Sanguinetti has points in each of his last eight games (Jan. 12-27; 4g, 8a).
• Chris Terry has points in each of his last eight games (Jan. 12-27; 4g, 11a).
• Drayson Bowman has points in each of his last three games (Jan. 24-27; 1g, 3a).
|| AHL RANK
|Goals per game:
|Shots per game:
|Goals allowed per game:
|Shots allowed per game:
|Penalty minutes per game:
||Chris Terry (40), Jerome Samson (27), Zach Boychuk (26)
||Jerome Samson (15), Zach Boychuk (12), Drayson Bowman (11)
||Chris Terry (30), Bobby Sanguinetti (20)
|Power play goals:
||Jerome Samson (8), Drayson Bowman (6), Riley Nash (5)
||Five players tied at (1)
||Zach Boychuk, Matthew Pistilli, Jerome Samson (3)
|Shots on goal:
||Jerome Samson (160), Chris Terry (114), Drayson Bowman (107)
||Justin Soryal (108), Nicolas Blanchard (66), Chris Terry (47)
||Justin Krueger (+12), Justin Shugg (+5), Drayson Bowman (+3)
||Mike Murphy (15), Justin Peters (6), John Muse (5)
||John Muse (1.56), Justin Peters (2.49), Mike Murphy (2.71)
||John Muse (.952), Justin Peters (.920), Mike Murphy (.910)
• Jan. 30 – (C) Riley Nash recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Jan. 27 – (D) Ryan Donald reassigned to Florida (ECHL) from Charlotte
• Jan. 26 – (G) Pier-Olivier Pelletier signed to professional tryout contract
• Jan. 24 – (C) Zac Dalpe reassigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
• Jan. 23 – (RW) Matt Beca reassigned to Florida (ECHL) from Charlotte
• Friday, Feb. 3 at Oklahoma City (8:00 p.m.)
• Saturday, Feb. 4 at Texas (8:00 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 email@example.com.