The Checkers’ struggles continued as they wrapped up their California road trip this past week.

With that bumpy stretch behind them, the Checkers will look to get a fresh start with a busy four-game week on home ice.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
  • Home record
  • Road record
  • Last week's record
  • Last 10 games
  • Division Standings
  • Conference Standings
  • League Standings

Stockton 3, Checkers 1

Returning to Stockton to kick off the second leg of their California trip, the Checkers started strong, with Sergey Tolchinsky putting his squad on top first with a quick snipe in the opening period. That lead wouldn’t last long, however, as the Heat responded one minute later and never looked back. The home team would pump in two more and, despite handing the Checkers eight power plays over the course of the game, those three unanswered goals would be enough. The Checkers held the Heat’s offense in check most of the night, limiting them to 15 shots, including just seven total in the final two periods, but it wasn’t enough as Charlotte fell 3-1. Full recap

Bakersfield 3, Checkers 2 (OT)

In their second trip to Bakersfield, it looked like the Checkers would be doomed to repeat their past performance, as the Condors jumped out to a two-goal lead after 20 minutes of play. But the Checkers showed resiliency and battled back, with Valentin Zykov putting them on the board in the second and Lucas Wallmark evening things up inside the final two minutes of play. The Condors had a chance to end the game in regulation with a penalty shot in the last 30 seconds, but Michael Leighton, assigned to Charlotte for the game, turned it aside and forced overtime. With a point in the standings in the bag, the Checkers created some chances in the extra frame, but it was the home team who would light the lamp take the victory. Full recap

Ontario 5, Checkers 2

The Checkers were looking for a way to snap their franchise-worst winless streak as they traveled to Ontario to close out the trip, but couldn’t find it against the Reign. The home team roared out with three goals in the first period before tacking on another in the second to build a staggering 4-0 lead. Levko Koper put the Checkers on the board finally in the waning moments of the middle frame, but it wouldn’t be enough. Ontario would shut down any thoughts of a comeback with an early goal in the third and that would seal it. Koper would notch his second of the game later in the third, but the Checkers dropped the California finale 5-2. Alex Nedeljkovic started between the pipes, surrendering four goals on fifteen shots before Daniel Altshuller was inserted to start the third period. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week


3rd Star

Andrew Poturalski- 0g, 2a

2nd Star

Sergey Tolchinsky- 1g, 2a

1st Star

Levko Koper- 2g, 0a



With a 5-2 loss in Ontario this past Saturday, the Checkers completed their California road trip, going 0-5-1 to collect one of a possible 12 points.

That trip, plus road sweeps at the hands of San Antonio and Texas, put the Checkers at an 0-9-1 record against the Pacific Division.

Last season, the Checkers went 10-7-3 against the Pacific Division, including a 5-0-1 trip through California.


Charlotte’s struggles putting the puck in the net continued through the end of the trip, as it recorded five goals over three games last week.

The Checkers, who have dipped to 27th in the AHL in terms of goals per game, have totaled 23 goals over their last 14 contests and have failed to score more than two goals in 12 of those 14.

That trend has been tough on the Checkers, who are now 1-14-1 in games where they score two or fewer goals. On the flip side, they are a perfect 8-0-0 when breaking that threshold.


  • Klas Dahlbeck Joins Checkers On Conditioning Stint Read More

Last Week's News

With a power-play goal against Bakersfield last Friday, the Checkers were able to stop an 0-for-32 drought that had lasted the previous seven games. Still, even with that breakthrough the Checkers’ special teams have had a rough few weeks.

Charlotte’s power-play percentage currently sits at 9.7%, last in the AHL more than two whole percentage points. They have scored three power-play goals in their last 56 opportunities over the last 14 games, a stretch that has coincided with the team’s 2-10-2 skid.

On the other side, the Checkers’ penalty kill has been the better of the two special teams units, but has also seen its fair share of struggles.

Charlotte allowed a pair of strikes on the man advantage Saturday in Ontario, marking the fourth time in the last 10 games that it has surrendered multiple power-play goals in a single contest.


This year’s California road trip has produced significantly different results than a year ago.

Last season, the Checkers rolled through California, taking 11 of a possible 12 points on the trip, whereas this season the Checkers have dropped each of their first three contests in the state.

Including sweeps at the hands of the Stars and Rampage, the Checkers are now 0-7-0 against the Pacific Division this season, a year after going 10-7-3 against the league’s newest division.


The road has not been kind to the Checkers.

Saturday’s loss to Ontario not only brought an end to the team’s dismal California trip, but it extended their road winless streak to a franchise-worst 10 games. With their last road win coming over a month ago on Nov. 11, the Checkers are 3-11-2 away from home, tied for the worst road win percentage. They also hold the most road losses in the AHL and all three of their road wins have come against the Iowa Wild.

The good news for the team is that they are back in Charlotte for a four-game home stand over the next week. The Checkers are 6-2-0 at Bojangles’ Coliseum this season, though both losses have come in their last three home games.


Kyle Hagel dropped the gloves against Paul Bissonnette in Ontario on Saturday for his fifth fight this season. That total is the most on the team and tied for the most in the AHL. He is also halfway to the 10-game threshold just 23 games into the season. Per new AHL rules, a player will be issued a suspension for each fighting major starting with number 10.

Hagel is the only Checker thus far this season to fight more than once.


  • Kyle Hagel is tied for the league lead in major penalties (5)
  • Despite being currently on the Hurricanes' roster, Michael Leighton ranks third in the AHL in both goals-against average (1.78) and save percentage (.932)
  • Levko Koper is tied for fourth in the AHL and third among rookies in shooting percentage (27.3)
  • Andrew Poturalski is tied for eighth among league rookies in scoring


  • Brendan Woods missed 18 games starting Nov. 2
  • Connor Brickley missed seven games starting Nov. 27
  • Haydn Fleury missed six games starting Nov. 30
  • Trevor Carrick missed six games starting Nov. 30
  • Kris Newbury missed one game starting Dec. 10



  • Dec. 7 - Klas Dahlbeck assigned to Charlotte on conditioning stint


  • Dec. 10 - Michael Leighton recalled by Carolina (NHL)

Coming Up

Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 pm - Checkers vs. Manitoba

Presented by Country Boy Landscaping
  • Ugly Sweater Night
  • Toy Drive presented by Country Boy Landscaping - donate a toy at the game to receive a free ticket for our game on Jan. 13!

Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7 pm - Checkers vs. Manitoba

Presented by Bud LightPresented by Farm BureauPresented by Hendrick AcuraPresented by Country Boy Landscaping
  • Winning Wednesday presented by Farm Bureau Insurance - enjoy $1 Bud Light draughts and get a free ticket to our next Wednesday game on Jan. 18 if we win!
  • College Night presented by Hendrick Acura - save on tickets by using your valid college email address! Click here for info.
  • Toy Drive presented by Country Boy Landscaping - donate a toy at the game to receive a free ticket for our game on Jan. 13!
  • Ugly Sweater Night

Saturday, Dec. 17 at 6 pm - Checkers vs. Grand Rapids

Presented by Novant HealthPresented by Parks Heating and Cooling
  • Teddy Bear Toss presented by Novant Health. Bring a stuffed animal to throw on the ice after our first goal! Bears must be new, wrapped in plastic or in a ziplock bag.
  • Family Night - save $45 (40 percent) on groups of four tickets when purchasing online!
  • Slap Shot Saturday - stick around after the game and take a shot on goal!
  • Black jersey night presented by Parks Heating and Cooling
  • Ugly Sweater Night

Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1 pm - Checkers vs. Grand Rapids

Presented by Community Blood Center of the CarolinasPresented by Parks Heating and Cooling
  • Star Wars Day - buy discounted tickets to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation! More info
  • Blood Drive for Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. Donate at the coliseum from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and receive a free t-shirt!
  • Black jersey night presented by Parks Heating and Cooling
  • Ugly Sweater Day

By the Numbers

Power play 9.7% 30th 30th
Penalty kill 80.6% 20th 20th
Goals per game 2.42 27th 25th
Shots per game 30.79 11th t-7th
Goals allowed per game 2.88 17th 13th
Shots allowed per game 27.46 6th 12th
Penalty minutes per game 12.33 8th t-9th

Points Andrew Poturalski (16), Derek Ryan (13), Lucas Wallmark, Valentin Zykov (11)
Goals Valentin Zykov (7), Andrew Poturalski, Brock McGinn, Derek Ryan (5)
Assists Andrew Poturalski (11), Derek Ryan (8), Lucas Wallmark (7)
Power play goals Valentin Zykov (3), Derek Ryan (2)
Shorthanded goals Patrick Brown, Derek Ryan, Brock McGinn, Patrick Dwyer (1)
Game-winning goals Brock McGinn, Patrick Brown (2)
Shots on goal Roland McKeown (56), Trevor Carrick (55), Lucas Wallmark (48)
Penalty minutes Kyle Hagel (41), Mitchell Heard (31), Keegan Lowe (27)
Plus/minus Matt Tennyson (+7), Levko Koper (+6), Andrew Poturalski (+5)
Wins Michael Leighton (6)
Goals-against average Michael Leighton (1.78)
Save percentage Michael Leighton (.932)