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
    27-8-3
  • Home record
    10-3-1
  • Road record
    17-5-2
  • Last week's record
    3-0-1
  • Last 10 games
    6-2-2
  • Division Standings
    1st
  • Conference Standings
    1st
  • League Standings
    1st

Checkers 4, Toronto 5 (OT)

Charlotte’s New Year’s Eve matinee started out rough, with Toronto building a towering 4-1 lead through the first 20 minutes of play. The Checkers pushed back, however, chipping away with goals midway through the second and third periods before Greg McKegg knotted the contest late in the final frame with his second goal of the night to help the visitors force overtime and steal a point. But it was the Marlies who got the last laugh in the extra fame, with Chris Mueller finding the back of the net two minutes in to give Toronto a 5-4 victory. Full recap

Checkers 4, Belleville 1

The Checkers started 2019 with a bang, handing the Senators a lopsided loss on home ice. Belleville cut Charlotte’s two-goal advantage in half midway through regulation, but tallies from Aleksi Saarela late in the middle frame and Nicolas Roy early in the second clinched the win for the visitors. Full recap

Checkers 6, Belleville 3

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 5, Toronto 0

The Checkers wrapped up a busy three-in-three weekend with a return to Toronto to face the defending champs. The visitors struck early, building up a three-goal lead after one period, and kept rolling to a decisive 5-0 victory. Alex Nedeljkovic denied all 34 shots he faced and picked up his first shutout of the season. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Nedeljkovic

3rd Star

Alex Nedeljkovic

2-0-0, 1 SO, 1.79 GAA, .949 SV%
Gauthier

2nd Star

Julien Gauthier

4g, 0a
Poturalski

1st Star

Andrew Poturalski

2g, 5a

Notables

HALFWAY THERE

Sunday’s win over Toronto was the 38th game for Charlotte, marking the halfway point of the 76-game season. The 57 points that the Checkers have racked up are the most through 38 games in franchise history, eight more than the 2012-13 campaign that previously held the record. The Checkers are the ninth AHL team since the 2008-09 season to record at least 57 points through the first 38 games.

BUSY WEEKEND

The Checkers completed their third of four three-in-threes over this past weekend, going 3-0-0 over two games in Belleville and one in Toronto. That marks the fourth time in franchise history that the team has pulled off a perfect three-in-three and the first time since 2013. The Checkers are now 5-4-0 in three-in-threes this season, having gone 1-2-0 in each of the first two instances.

This weekend also wrapped up the Checkers’ lone trip north of the border, with Charlotte logging a 4-1-1 record on the road in Canada.

NED SAYS NO

Alex Nedeljkovic took the crease for two of the three contests over the weekend and turned in a pair of stellar performances. The netminder stopped 64 of the 65 shots he faced in wins over Belleville and Toronto, including picking up his first shutout of the season against the defending Calder Cup champions. That marked his seventh shutout in a Checkers sweater, moving him into a tie with Justin Peters and John Muse for the most in franchise history.

POTTING POINTS

Andrew Poturalski continues to tear up the scoresheet, recording five points over the three-game weekend. The forward has racked up 18 points over his last 15 games and has three multi-point games in his last four.

Poturalski leads the Checkers in goals, assists and points, holding a lead of four, five and nine over his next-ranked teammate, respectively.

GEEKIE LIGHTS IT UP

After a stretch that saw him record just one assist in 15 games, Morgan Geekie has been an offensive force as of late. The rookie picked up three points over the weekend to give him 10 points in his last 10 games.

Geekie’s biggest weapon through the first half of his rookie campaign has been his shot – the forward leads all of the AHL in shooting percentage – but he has come into his own as a playmaker over his recent productive streak. Geekie has four assists over the last six games, the same he had through the first 29 contests.

DEPTH SCORING

After a big offensive weekend, the Checkers now have six skaters with double-digit goal totals, more than any other team in the AHL.

NECAS DOESN'T MISS A BEAT

Despite missing six games while representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships, Martin Necas slipped back into the Checkers’ lineup with ease this weekend. The 19-year-old recorded a goal and an assist in each of Charlotte’s wins on Saturday and Sunday, running his point total to 26 (9g, 17a) through just 28 games. Necas now ranks fourth among AHL rookies in scoring despite having played between one and six games fewer than the players ahead of him.

Ranks

  • Andrew Poturalski is tied for 5th in the AHL in scoring (38), tied for 7th in assists (23), tied for second in game-winning goals (5) and tied for the league lead in overtime-winning goals (2)
  • Dan Renouf ranks fifth in the AHL in penalty minutes (76)
  • Saku Maenalanen is tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals (3) and points (4)
  • Morgan Geekie leads the AHL in shooting percentage (29.7)
  • Alex Nedeljkovic leads the league in wins (17) and minutes (1435:42) and ranks fourth in saves (593)
  • Martin Necas ranks fourth among AHL rookies in scoring (26) and is tied for seventh in assists (17)
  • Jake Bean leads all rookie defensemen and is tied for 10th overall in scoring (23), is tied for the rookie lead and tied for ninth overall in assists (18) and is tied for fifth among rookies blue liners in goals (5)
  • Trevor Carrick ranks second among league defensemen in game-winning goals (4) and is tied for third in power-play assists (10)
  • Roland McKeown ranks fifth among AHL blue liners and is tied for seventh overall in plus-minus (+16)

INJURIES

  • Josiah Didier - Missed 22 games starting 11/17
  • Spencer Smallman - Missed 25 games starting 11/11

Transactions

Incoming

  • Jan. 4: (D) Haydn Fleury - Assigned from Carolina (NHL)
  • Jan. 4: (C) Martin Necas - Returned from World Juniors
  • Jan. 1: (D) Bobby Sanguinetti - Signed to AHL contract
  • Jan. 1: (C) Janne Kuokkanen - Assigned from Carolina (NHL)

Outgoing

  • Jan. 4: (C) Greg McKegg - Recalled by Carolina (NHL)
  • Jan. 1: (D) Josh Wesley - Assigned to Florida (ECHL)
  • Jan. 1: (RW) Saku Maenalanen - Recalled by Carolina (NHL)

Coming Up

Friday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Piedmont Natural GasHomeTrust Bank

Share the Warmth Presented by Piedmont Natural Gas

  • Tumbler giveaway for the first 1,200 fans courtesy of Piedmont Natural Gas
  • "The Office" Night
  • HomeTrust Bank Save for Savings - go to HomeTrust Bank's concourse table to open a checking account and receive a dollar for every save the Checkers make

Saturday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. - Checkers vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Wix Filters

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night Presented by Wix Filters

  • Players to wear specialty teal jerseys that will be auctioned off immediately following the game, with the proceeds benefitting Teal Butterfly, Teal Diva and Sherry Strong.
  • WSOC-TV's Steve's Coats for Kids - donate a new or gently-used coat at the game and receive a free ticket for our game on Jan. 20

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 20.5% 10th t-9th
Penalty kill 84.0% 7th 7th
Goals per game 3.50 t-8th 11th
Shots per game 29.55 17th t-16th
Goals allowed per game 2.74 4th t-3rd
Shots allowed per game 27.21 5th 4th
Penalty minutes per game 14.71 7th 6th


LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Andrew Poturalski (38), Janne Kuokkanen (29), Aleksi Saarela (27)
Goals Andrew Poturalski (15), Five tied (11)
Assists Andrew Poturalski (23), Janne Kuokkanen, Jake Bean (18)
Power play goals Janne Kuokkanen (6), Nicolas Roy, Julien Gauthier (4)
Shorthanded goals Saku Maenalanen (3), Patrick Brown, Nicolas Roy (1)
Game-winning goals Andrew Poturalski (5), Nicolas Roy, Trevor Carrick (4)
Shots on goal Aleksi Saarela (102), Andrew Poturalski (93), Nicolas Roy (82)
Penalty minutes Dan Renouf (76), Trevor Carrick (56), Julien Gauthier (43)
Plus/minus Roland McKeown (+16), Martin Necas (+11), Aleksi Saarela (10)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (17)
Goals-against average Alex Nedeljkovic (2.72)
Save percentage Alex Nedeljkovic (.901)
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.