The Checkers started off 2019 with an impressive weekend sweep through Canada to remain atop the AHL standings.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    30-10-4
  • Home record
    13-5-2
  • Road record
    17-5-2
  • Last week's record
    2-1-1
  • Last 10 games
    6-2-2
  • Division Standings
    1st
  • Conference Standings
    1st
  • League Standings
    1st

Checkers 1, Bridgeport 0

Bridgeport’s first visit to Charlotte resulted in a tight defensive battle, with neither side yielding much. Aleksi Saarela lit the lamp midway through the first period and that would prove to be the only offensive action for the remainder of regulation. Alex Nedeljkovic turned aside all 20 shots he faced, including 10 in the third period alone, to pick up his second shutout of the season. Full recap

Checkers 6, Bridgeport 4

The rematch flipped the script from the night before by turning into a high-flying shootout. The Checkers got off to a fast start, leading 4-1 after just 20 minutes of play, but the visitors chipped away to pull within one inside the final four minutes of regulation. The Checkers held strong, however, and Andrew Poturalski capitalized on a late penalty shot to ice the contest for Charlotte and clinch the weekday sweep. Full recap

Checkers 3, Toronto 4 (OT)

The next night’s rematch was a wild one, with both teams scoring within the first 35 seconds of regulation and then scoring again minutes later, making it a 2-2 contest before the five-minute mark. Things tilted the visitors’ way from there, though, as Charlotte notched three unanswered goals to blow the game wide open. Then an empty netter from Julien Gauthier, his second goal of the game, clinched the win for Scott Darling and the Checkers. Full recap

Checkers 0, Toronto 5

The Checkers wrapped up their home stand with a lackluster showing Sunday afternoon. They were only able to muster up 22 shots throughout the contest and saw all of them turned aside by Kasimir Kaskisuo in a shutout performance. The Marlies offense came to life, especially in a three-goal middle frame, and the visitors skated away with a blowout 5-0 win over the Checkers. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Poturalski

3rd Star

Andrew Poturalski

1g, 2a
Carrick

2nd Star

Trevor Carrick

1g, 3a
Schilkey

1st Star

Nick Schilkey

3g, 1a

Notables

HOME ICE

With this weekend’s results, the Checkers have gone winless in consecutive home games for just the second time this season, following a similar overtime loss and regulation loss in mid-December. Sunday’s 5-0 defeat also matches a 6-1 drubbing by Bridgeport on Dec. 21 as the Checkers’ worst home loss this season.

Despite those two tough contests, the Checkers remain tied for the most home wins in the Eastern Conference.

SCHILKEY STAYS SCORING

As he becomes more of a mainstay in the lineup, Nick Schilkey is ratcheting up his offensive production. The second-year forward recorded four points over the four-game week, including notching his second three-point performance of the year, to give him 10 points (3g, 7a) over the last 11 games. Schilkey, an undrafted forward out of Ohio State, has already surpassed his 48-game rookie campaign totals in goals, assists and points through 32 games played this season.

POWER OUTAGE

After scoring power-play goals in consecutive games on Wednesday and Saturday for the first time in nearly a month, the Checkers found themselves struggling again Sunday and going scoreless on six man advantages. That gives Charlotte five goals over their last 47 power plays over the last 10 games, dropping the team to 18th in the AHL in terms of power-play percentage.

The difference between Charlotte’s power play at home and on the road this season has been staggering. The Checkers are operating at a 24 percent clip on the road, the fifth-best such mark in the league, but have a 13 percent mark at home, the fifth-worst in the league.

“Our power play on the home stand here has been terrible,” said head coach Mike Vellucci after Sunday’s loss. “It was not good enough. I’m going to make some changes on it this week with personnel and we’re going to get the right people that want to be on the power play.”

STRONG STARTS

Since a six-game drought without one, the Checkers have scored a first-period goal in seven of their last nine contests, including recording multiple first-period goals in four of those. Charlotte is 6-1-2 over that stretch, with two of the three losses coming in the two game where they failed to score in the first period. Overall this season the Checkers have scored the second-most first-period goals in the league and are one of five teams – Iowa, Providence, Rochester and Syracuse – in the AHL with positive goal differentials in all three periods.

Ranks

  • Andrew Poturalski is tied for 4th in the AHL in scoring (42), tied for 8th in assists (25) and tied for second in game-winning goals (5) and overtime-winning goals (2)
  • Dan Renouf ranks second in the AHL in penalty minutes (94) and is tied for third in major penalties (6)
  • Morgan Geekie leads the league in shooting percentage (28.9) and ranks sixth among league rookies in goals (13)
  • Nicolas Roy is tied for second in the AHL in game-winning goals
  • Alex Nedeljkovic leads the league in wins (20) and minutes played (1659:11) and ranks fifth in saves (688)
  • Jake Bean leads all rookie defensemen, is tied for 11th among all rookies and is tied for 10th among defensemen in scoring (26) and is tied for the rookie defensemen lead and tied for fourth among all rookies in assists (20)
  • Martin Necas is tied for sixth among league rookies in scoring (28)
  • Trevor Carrick is tied for 10th among league blue liners in scoring (26)
  • Dennis Robertson ranks fourth among league defensemen in shooting percentage (13.9)
  • Roland McKeown ranks fifth among AHL defensemen and seventh overall in plus-minus (+17)

INJURIES

  • Cliff Pu - Missed one games starting 1/20
  • Spencer Smallman - Missed 31 games starting 11/11

ILLNESS

  • Aleksi Saarela - Missed one game on 1/19
  • Bobby Sanguinetti - Missed two games from 1/15 to 1/16
  • Trevor Carrick - Missed one game on 1/15

Transactions

Incoming

  • Jan. 18: (C) Clark Bishop - Assigned from Carolina (NHL)
  • Jan. 17: (G) Callum Booth - Recalled from Florida (ECHL)

Outgoing

  • Jan. 20: (D) Haydn Fleury - Recalled by Carolina (NHL)
  • Jan. 17: (G) Alex Nedeljkovic - Recalled by Carolina (NHL)
  • Jan. 15: (D) Derek Sheppard - Assigned to Florida (ECHL)

Coming Up

Friday, January 25 at 7:05 pm - Checkers at Porvidence

Saturday, January 26 at 7 pm - Checkers at Hartford

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 18.4% 18th 10th
Penalty kill 84.3% 5th 7th
Goals per game 3.39 t-10th t-8th
Shots per game 29.39 18th 17th
Goals allowed per game 2.84 t-4th 4th
Shots allowed per game 27.55 5th 5th
Penalty minutes per game 14.61 7th 7th


LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Andrew Poturalski (42), Janne Kuokkanen, Aleksi Saarela (31)
Goals Andrew Poturalski (17), Aleksi Saarela, Nicolas Roy, Morgan Geekie (13)
Assists Andrew Poturalski (25), Janne Kuokkanen, Jake Bean (20)
Power play goals Janne Kuokkanen (6), Nicolas Roy, Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie (4)
Shorthanded goals Saku Maenalanen (3), Patrick Brown, Nicolas Roy, Michal Cajkovsky (1)
Game-winning goals Andrew Poturalski, Nicolas Roy (5), Trevor Carrick, Aleksi Saarela (4)
Shots on goal Aleksi Saarela (115), Andrew Poturalski (108), Nicolas Roy, Julien Gauthier (92)
Penalty minutes Dan Renouf (94), Trevor Carrick (62), Julien Gauthier (47)
Plus/minus Roland McKeown (+17), Martin Necas, Nick Schilkey, Morgan Geekie (+10)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (20)
Goals-against average Callum Booth (2.21)
Save percentage Callum Booth (.911)
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.