February 27, 2012 10:09 AM
Overall record: 31-19-6 (Home 16-8-4 | Road 15-11-2)
Last week’s record: 1-0-1 | Last 10 games: 5-3-2
Standings: 1st Midwest Division | 3rd Western Conference
The Checkers took three out of a possible four points against the AHL’s No. 1 team to regain control of their divisional destiny last week.
In a back-to-back, two-game set against the Oklahoma City Barons at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte won the first game on Friday by a convincing 6-2 score before dropping Saturday’s rematch in the sixth round of the shootout. Those points earned, combined with an 0-2-1 week by the Chicago Wolves, give the Checkers a three-point lead in the Midwest heading into this week.
Having now concluded a February schedule that featured more road games than any other month, the Checkers begin March with another quick trip to Lake Erie before beginning a six-game home stand against the Wolves on March 10 that ties their longest of the season.
Checkers 6, Oklahoma City 2 - Recap
A.J. Jenks scored two-power play goals to help the Checkers get out to a 5-0 second-period lead that they would not relinquish in an eventual 6-2 win over the first-place Oklahoma City Barons on Friday. John Muse made 26 saves for Charlotte, which improved to 5-1-1 in the season series with the Barons with the help of additional goals from Matthew Pistilli, Brett Sutter, Chris Terry and Justin Shugg.
Oklahoma City 3, Checkers 2 (SO) - Recap
In front of a record crowd of 13,021 at Time Warner Cable Arena, Oklahoma City’s Antti Tyrvainen scored the tying goal with two minutes left in regulation to force overtime and a shootout, which the Barons would win in the sixth round via Josh Green. Barons goalie David LeNeveu, who left the previous night’s game after giving up four goals on 22 shots, stopped a penalty shot and two overtime breakaways as part of a 36-save performance. Sean Dolan and Mathieu Roy scored for Charlotte, which got 2 assists from Evgenii Dadonov and 37 saves from John Muse.
Hurricanes reassign Mike Murphy
Goalie concludes back-and-forth week having backed up for three NHL games.
Sova defines 'Hockey Fights Cancer'
Rookie defenseman and Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor embraces his past.
Revisiting the trade
Evgenii Dadonov, A.J. Jenks and Jon Matsumoto adjusting to life in new homes.
Over $8,900 raised at Meat 'N Greet at Chima
Dinner and silent auction with players benefits Checkers Charitable Foundation.
Shugg not set back by injury
After two months on sideline, rookie winger returns as key offensive contributor.
• HOLDING THE LEAD: The Checkers have entered every game of 2012 as Midwest Division leaders. Since claiming the lead with a win in Grand Rapids on Nov. 5, they’ve only relinquished it once for a four-day period in late December, with a win in Rockford on Dec. 30 good enough to get it back. Through games of Feb. 26, they held a three-point lead over the Chicago Wolves, who have played one fewer game.
• FINDING MUSE: In his first 15 appearances as a Checker, rookie John Muse is 10-3-2 with two shutouts. Though he was still 183 minutes away from officially qualifying among the AHL leaders through games of Feb. 26, his 1.81 goals-against average and .941 save percentage would each rank first in the league. Due to a combination of injuries and NHL recalls to Charlotte’s starting tandem of Mike Murphy and Justin Peters, Muse, who started the season with the ECHL's Florida Everblades, has started 13 of the team’s last 15 games dating back to Jan. 20.
• PENALTY KILL: The Checkers have allowed just one power play goal over their last 10 games, killing 37 of 38 penalties during that span (97.4 percent). For the season, the Checkers, who are 19-for-19 over their last six contests, rank fourth in the AHL with a 85.6 percent success rate. Discipline has been a factor, as they are tied with Chicago for the second-fewest shorthanded situations faced by any team this season (216). Charlotte ranks tied for third on the power play (20.7 percent), making it the only AHL team to be in the top for in both special teams categories.
• LATE BLOOMER: After going scoreless in his first 30 AHL games of the season with San Antonio and Charlotte, center A.J. Jenks now has 7 points (4g, 3a) in his last 10 games, including his first two multi-point games and first power-play goals as a professional. Jenks, a fourth-round draft pick who the Carolina Hurricanes acquired from the Florida Panthers organization in January, now has 28 points (12g, 16a) in 103 career AHL games.
• WELCOME BACK SHUGG: After suffering an injury with the Checkers on Dec. 15, rookie forward Justin Shugg recorded 4 points (3g, 1a) and a shootout goal in his first five games back with the team following a recall from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Shugg, a 20-year-old, fourth-round draft pick by the Hurricanes in 2010, now has 8 career AHL points, all of which have come in his last 10 games following an eight-game drought to start the season.
• SHOOTOUTS: Charlotte’s nine shootouts this season are tied for third-most in the AHL, with only three of 11 games tied at the end of regulation being settled during the five-minute overtime period (1-2). The Checkers are 5-4 in shootouts this season, having lost each of their last two. The Checkers rank 10th in the league in terms of scoring (.352) and 16th in terms of goaltending (opponents shooting .315). Charlotte has six players who have scored on more than half of their attempts including Chris Terry (5-9), Drayson Bowman (3-5), A.J. Jenks (3-5), Justin Krueger (2-3), Nicolas Blanchard (1-1) and Justin Shugg (1-2). Mike Murphy is the team’s top goalie with a save percentage of .760 (19-25).
• (G) John Muse has started each of the Checkers’ last six games (Feb. 12-25; 2-2-2)
• (D) Mathieu Roy has points in each of his last three games (Feb. 19-25; 1g, 2a)
• (LW) Evgenii Dadonov has assists and points in each of his last three games (Feb. 19-25; 4a)
• (D) Joe Sova has assists and points in each of his last two games (Feb. 24-25; 3a)
• (D) Bobby Sanguinetti has assists and points in each of his last two games (Feb. 24-25; 2a)
• (D) Rasmus Rissanen - missed one game, last played Feb. 24 vs. Oklahoma City
• (D) Justin Krueger - missed three games, last played Feb. 18 at Chicago
• (C) Riley Nash – missed seven games, last played Feb. 10 at Milwaukee
• (C) Chris Durno – missed 23 games, last played Dec. 31 at Chicago
|| AHL RANK
|Goals per game:
|Shots per game:
|Goals allowed per game:
|Shots allowed per game:
|Penalty minutes per game:
||Chris Terry (46), Zach Boychuk (32), Jerome Samson (31)
||Jerome Samson (18), Zach Boychuk (14), Zac Dalpe (13)
||Chris Terry (35), Bobby Sanguinetti (24), Zach Boychuk (18)
|Power play goals:
||Jerome Samson (8), Drayson Bowman, Bobby Sanguinetti (6)
||Five players tied at (1)
||Zach Boychuk, Matthew Pistilli, Jerome Samson (3)
|Shots on goal:
||Jerome Samson (171), Chris Terry (139), Zac Dalpe (119)
||Justin Soryal (164), Nicolas Blanchard (87), Chris Terry (47)
||Justin Krueger (+13), Justin Shugg (+6), Mathieu Roy (+4)
||Mike Murphy (15), John Muse (10), Justin Peters (6)
||John Muse (1.81), Justin Peters (2.49), Mike Murphy (2.71)
||John Muse (.941), Justin Peters (.920), Mike Murphy (.910)
• Feb. 26 – (G) Dave Caruso released from professional tryout contract
• Feb. 25 – (G) Mike Murphy reassigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
• Feb. 24 – (G) Dave Caruso signed to professional tryout contract
• Feb. 22 – (G) Mike Murphy recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Feb. 21 – (G) Mike Murphy reassigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
• Feb. 20 – (G) Mike Murphy recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte
• Saturday, March 3 at Lake Erie (7:30 p.m.)
• Sunday, March 4 at Lake Erie (3:00 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.