The Checkers kicked off one of the busiest stretches of their schedule by claiming a road win in Hartford before splitting their first home series of 2022 against the Stars.
Week in Review
Last week's record
Last 10 games
Checkers 2, Hartford 1 (OT)
The Checkers wrapped up their first road trip of the calendar year by locking in a defensive battle against the Wolf Pack. Joey Daccord continued his stellar play and put up 29 saves, while Grigori Denisenko single handedly carried the offense - tying the game at one midway through the third period and then netting the overtime winner just under two minutes into the extra frame. Full recap
Checkers 8, Texas 3
Charlotte’s offense exploded in their return home against Texas, with Serron Noel’s first-period hat trick leading the way. After being deadlocked at two midway through the first, the Checkers pumped in six unanswered tallies to blow the Stars out of the water and claim a victory on Charlotte Night. Full recap
Checkers 5, Texas 6
The Checkers couldn’t replicate that success in the following day’s rematch, however. Playing in front of a small crowd due to a winter storm, Charlotte and Texas traded blows throughout the contest until Aleksi Heponiemi drew things to a 4-4 tie early on in the third. The Stars quickly responded with a pair of goals of their own, however, to reestablish their lead, and despite Kole Lind’s buzzer-beating power-play strike, the Checkers couldn’t muster a comeback. Full recap
Three Stars Of The Week
NOEL'S BIG NIGHT
Serron Noel lit the lamp three times in the first period of Charlotte’s big 8-3 win over Texas on Saturday, picking up his first pro hat trick. It marked the first hat trick by a Checkers player on home ice since Janne Kuokkanen did it in 2018, and it is only the second time a player has scored three goals in a single period in franchise history - joining Zach Boychuk’s third-period hat trick in 2014.
DACCORD STEPS UP
After spending much of the first chunk of the season rotating through a stable of goalies, the coaching staff has leaned heavily on Joey Daccord as of late. Saturday’s win over Texas marked the fifth consecutive start for the netminder - prior to that, no Checkers goalie had started more than two games in a row this season. Daccord has won five of his last six starts and has given up a single goal in four of his last seven appearances. Those strong performances have pushed Daccord to rank fourth in the AHL in both goals-against average and save percentage.
Having been assigned to Charlotte just before the weekend slate of games, Owen Tippett showed up big in his first games wearing a Checkers sweater. The forward picked up two assists in each contest and now has 19 points in his last 12 AHL games dating back to the 2019-20 season.
LIGHTING IT UP
After a dip in production that saw them score 10 total goals over a five-game stretch, the Checkers got back to their high-scoring ways against the Stars by pumping in 13 goals over the two-game series. Charlotte now boasts the fifth-ranked offense in the AHL and have scored over five goals eight different times this season.
The two-game set with Texas marked the only time that a Western Conference team will visit Bojangles Coliseum this regular season, as the Stars are the only Western Conference team on Charlotte’s schedule. Those contests marked the first time the Checkers have faced a Western Conference opponent during the regular season since 2016-17 - the last season the Checkers themselves were in the Western Conference.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Serron Noel racks up the first hat trick of his career!
- Joey Daccord ranks fourth in the AHL in goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.925)
- Cole Schwindt is tied for the lead among AHL rookies in plus-minus (+14) and tied for sixth overall
- Cole Schwindt is tied for eighth among AHL rookies in goals (9)
- Kole Lind ranks fifth in the AHL in penalty minutes
- Kole Lind and Zac Dalpe are tied for eighth in the AHL in power-play goals (5)
- Logan Hutsko ranks ninth among AHL rookies in scoring (22)
- Logan Hutsko is tied for ninth among league rookies in assists (15)
- Cale Fleury is tied for sixth among AHL defensemen in goals (5)
- Connor Carrick and Cale Fleury are tied for the lead among AHL defensemen in power-play goals (3)
- Grigori Denisenko - Out since 1/15
- Gustav Olofsson - Out since 1/12
- Max Gildon - Out since 12/19
- Chris Gibson - Out since 12/3
- John Ludvig - Out since 11/12
- Jan. 14 - Aleksi Heponiemi - Assigned from Florida (NHL)
- Jan. 14 - Owen Tippett - Assigned from Florida (NHL)
- Jan. 14 - Nick Albano - Released from PTO
Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Springfield