The Checkers came away from a hard-fought weekend trip to Lehigh Valley with a split.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    39-15-7
  • Home record
    18-6-4
  • Road record
    21-9-3
  • Last week's record
    1-1-0
  • Last 10 games
    7-3-0
  • Division Standings
    1st
  • Conference Standings
    1st
  • League Standings
    1st

Checkers 2, Lehigh Valley 3

After a scoreless first period that saw the Checkers outshoot their opponent 13-3, the Phantoms broke through in the middle frame with three straight strikes – one at even strength, one on the power play and one shorthanded. The Checkers pushed back in the third with a pair of tallies from Aleksi Saarela, but the clock ran out before they could complete their comeback and Lehigh Valley escaped with the victory. Full recap

Checkers 4, Lehigh Valley 0

The Checkers rebounded nicely in Sunday’s rematch, with Alex Nedeljkovic turning aside all 22 shots he faced to stifle the Lehigh Valley attack. Nick Schilkey lit the lamp twice to lead the way offensively, while newcomer Tomas Jurco found the back of the net again and Nicolas Roy ripped a quick one-timer to round out the scoring for Charlotte en route to a lopsided victory. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week

Nedeljkovic

3rd Star

Alex Nedeljkovic

1-1-0, 1.51 GAA, .936 SV%, 1 SO
Saarela

2nd Star

Aleksi Saarela

2g, 1a
Schilkey

1st Star

Nick Schilkey

2g, 1a

Notables

NED STANDS TALL

Alex Nedeljkovic, who has started 12 of Charlotte’s last 16 contests, took his spot in the net for both games against the Phantoms this weekend. Friday’s tightly contested loss was the first time that the netminder allowed more than two goals in 11 games, surrendering three but keeping his team within striking distance late. To no one’s surprise, Nedeljkovic bounced back in Sunday’s rematch and pulled off his third shutout of the season, a 22-save display against a potent Phantoms attack. In fact, Nedeljkovic has not recorded consecutive regulation losses all season.

The netminder is three shy of matching the franchise record for most wins in a single season, a mark that he set last season. Nedeljkovic is also chasing the franchise record for lowest goals-against average in a season of 2.29, set by Justin Peters in 2012-13.

SCHILKEY STAYS SCORING

Nick Schilkey has caught fire as of late and continues to add to his career year. The second-year forward, currently on a four-game point streak, has found the scoresheet in nine of the team’s last 10 games and racked up 12 points (6g, 6a) over that stretch – more than any other Checker.

The Ohio State product now has 15 goals and 17 assists through 49 games this season, eclipsing both totals from his 48-game rookie campaign by 10.

CARRICK CONTRIBUTES

After going through a 10-game stretch that saw him record just one point, Trevor Carrick has regained his scoring touch as of late. The All Star – who has assists in each of Charlotte’s last four games – has racked up eight point (1g, 7a) over the last eight contests, pulling himself into a tie with Jake Bean for the team’s defensemen scoring lead.

With 15 games to play, Carrick is nine shy of matching his single-season career high in points – set last year – and six shy of his career high in assists – a mark he hit in 2017-18 and 2015-16.

POWERING UP

The Checkers’ power play appears to trending in the right direction. With Nick Schilkey’s dagger late in Sunday’s win over Lehigh Valley, the Checkers have now notched a power-play in four consecutive games, their longest such streak since a five-game run in late October into early November.

Success on the man advantage has been key of the Checkers this season. The team has recorded a power-play goal in 34 games so far and logged a 26-5-3 record in those contests. On the flip side, they’re 13-10-4 in the 27 games where they failed to score on the power play.

TOUGH ROAD

The Checkers have turned things around after a bumpy stretch of the season, winning six of their last eight contests. The schedule has been beneficial for Charlotte over the latest stretch of games, though, with seven of the team’s last eight wins coming against teams outside of the playoff picture.

Since the calendar flipped to the year 2019, 12 of the Checkers’ 25 games have come against team’s currently in a playoff position, and the Checkers have gone 4-4-4 against those opponents. Things don’t get easier from here, as six of the team’s nine games remaining in the month of March come against playoff teams.

Ranks

  • Andrew Poturalski is tied for fourth in the AHL in scoring (57), is tied for 9th in assists (36) and tied for fourth in game-winning goals (6)
  • Alex Nedeljkovic leads the league in wins (28), ranks second in minutes played (2380) and fifth in goals-against average (2.37)
  • Martin Necas is tied for sixth among rookies in assists (26)
  • Jake Bean ranks fifth among defensemen in goals (11) and ranks second among rookie blue liners in scoring (35)
  • Trevor Carrick is tied for second among defensemen in game-winning goals and tied for 11th in scoring (35)
  • Roland McKeown is tied for fourth among defensemen in plus-minus (+22)
  • Dan Renouf is tied for eighth in the AHL in penalty minutes (111) and tied for fifth in major penalties (7)

INJURIES

  • Janne Kuokkanen - Missed two games starting 3/8
  • Spencer Smallman - Missed 48 games starting 11/11

Transactions

Incoming

  • Mar. 7: (C) Steven Lorentz - Recalled from Florida (ECHL)
  • Mar. 5: (D) Haydn Fleury - Assigned by Carolina (NHL)

Outgoing

  • Mar. 7: (G) Callum Booth - Assigned to Florida (ECHL)

Coming Up

Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Rochester Americans

World Travel Mates

Beach Night Presented by World Travel Mates

  • Beach ball giveaway as you exit the building

Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. - Checkers vs. Rochester Americans

Fairfield Inn and Suites

St. Patrick's Day Packs

By the Numbers

CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 18.0% t-17th 17th
Penalty kill 85.3% 3rd 3rd
Goals per game 3.28 9th t-7th
Shots per game 30.26 t-13th 14th
Goals allowed per game 2.70 4th t-3rd
Shots allowed per game 27.20 3rd 3rd
Penalty minutes per game 13.38 9th 9th


LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER(S)
Points Andrew Poturalski (57), Aleksi Saarela (41), Janne Kuokkanen (38)
Goals Andrew Poturalski (21), Aleksi Saarela (20), Julien Gauthier (18)
Assists Andrew Poturalski (36), Trevor Carrick (27), Janne Kuokkanen, Martin Necas (26)
Power play goals Janne Kuokkanen (6), Julien Gauthier, Aleksi Saarela (5)
Shorthanded goals Saku Maenalanen (3), Patrick Brown, Nicolas Roy, Michal Cajkovsky (1)
Game-winning goals Andrew Poturalski (6), Nicolas Roy (5), Trevor Carrick, Aleksi Saarela (4)
Shots on goal Aleksi Saarela (151), Andrew Poturalski (142), Trevor Carrick (135)
Penalty minutes Dan Renouf (111), Trevor Carrick (74), Julien Gauthier (53)
Plus/minus Roland McKeown (+22), Morgan Geekie (+19), Nick Schilkey (+15)
Wins Alex Nedeljkovic (28)
Goals-against average Alex Nedeljkovic (2.37)
Save percentage Alex Nedeljkovic (.912)
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.