It was an up-and-down weekend for the Checkers, as the Eddie Lack-led club split a big series with the Manitoba Moose to stay knotted in the Central Division standings.

With their longest home stand of the season in the books, the Checkers will enjoy a week off for the AHL All-Star break before jetting to Arizona for a rematch with the Tucson Roadrunners next weekend.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

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

Checkers 4, Manitoba 1

The Checkers wasted no time getting their offense going against the Moose, with Andrej Nestrasil completing an odd-man rush right off the opening faceoff to put the home team on top 20 seconds into the game. Charlotte never looked back from there, as Kris Newbury and Lucas Wallmark tacked two more on to give the Checkers a 3-0 lead early in the third. The Moose finally broke through minutes after Charlotte’s third goal, but it wasn’t enough. Wallmark added an empty netter for his second goal of the night and the Checkers cruised to a 4-1 victory. Between the pipes was Eddie Lack, making his first start since joining the team on a conditioning stint. The netminder was stellar in his Charlotte debut, turning aside 28 of the 29 shots that he faced. Full recap

Manitoba 2, Checkers 1

In front of a packed house on NASCAR Night, the Checkers couldn’t find the same success as the night before, falling in a closely battled contest. This time it was the Moose finding the board early, taking the lead five minutes into regulation and then doubling it midway through the second. Leading scorer Andrew Poturalski put the Checkers on the board late in the third as they attempted to rally, but they ran out of time before finding the equalizer and fell 2-1. Making back-to-back starts in goal, Lack turned in another solid performance by making 31 saves on the night. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week


3rd Star

Eddie Lack

1-1-0, 1.50 GAA, .952 SV%

2nd Star

Lucas Wallmark

2g, 0a

1st Star

Andrej Nestrasil

1g, 2a



With his second multi-goal game in six nights on Friday, Lucas Wallmark continues to be red-hot offensively. The Sweded ranks fourth among league rookies in goals, and only one player in the AHL (Chicago’s Ivan Barbashev) has more goals than Wallmark since Dec. 20.

After pulling away with the team’s goal lead, Wallmark continues to chase Andrew Poturalski for the scoring lead, currently sitting just three behind his fellow rookie.

His 15 goals through the first half of the season already has him tied with Brock McGinn for the third highest single-season total in franchise history and just one shy of Victor Rask for second all time. Zac Dalpe’s 23-goal campaign in 2010-11 still stands as the franchise record.

The good news for the Checkers is that their schedule for the second half of the season will see them spend a lot of time in Charlotte, as 20 of the remaining 34 games on the slate are at home.


For the fifth time in his career, goaltender Michael Leighton was selected as an AHL All Star. As the Checkers’ lone representative, Leighton, who has played just twice for Charlotte in the last 11 games while serving as Cam Ward’s backup in the NHL, is currently in Allentown, PA, for the festivities.

The veteran put on a show in last night’s All-Star Skills Competition, tying for the best performance in the Rapid Fire event and helping his Western Conference squad to an overall victory. He will be between the pipes for the Central Division for tonight’s round-robin, three-on-three tournament.

Leighton joins Justin Peters as the only two Checkers goalies to be selected to an AHL All-Star Game.


While they closed it out on a down note with Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Manitoba, January proved to be a strong month for the Checkers. With a 7-5-1-0 record, it marked the first month this season that he team finished above .500 in, while the 15 points they accumulated stands as more than they picked up during the months of October and December combined.


If there has been one strong suit for the Checkers this season, it has been their ability to hold onto leads late. Charlotte in 17-2-1 in games where they were leading or tied after 40 minutes of play, with those situations accounting for 35 of the team’s 41 points in the standings this season.

On the flip side, the Checkers have struggled to erase late deficits, holding a 2-20-2 mark when trailing after two periods.


The Checkers are again mired in a power-play drought. They have failed to register a power-play goal in each of their last five games (0-for-14), the longest scoreless stretch since going seven straight in late November. Charlotte has three goals in their last 33 opportunities over their last 11 games and rank last in the league in power-play percentage, three whole percentage points behind the 29th ranked club.

The lowest power-play percentage in franchise history is 13.7, set in 2014-15. That season marks the only time in franchise history that the Checkers have finished the year with a power-play percentage outside of the top six in the AHL.


After splitting last weekend’s two-game set with Manitoba, the Checkers are neck and neck with the Moose for sixth place in the Central Division. When sorted by points, the Checkers it just three points behind the Cleveland Monsters, who have several games in hand over the rest of the teams in the division, and eight points behind the Iowa Wild, who would be in the final playoff spot if the playoffs started today.

After four straight games against the Pacific Division to start the month, the Checkers will face Milwaukee and Cleveland for five of the next six contests.


  • Kyle Hagel is tied for third in the league in major penalties (6)
  • Michael Leighton ranks 10th in the AHL in goals-against average (2.32)
  • Andrew Poturalski ranks 12th among league rookies in scoring (28) and is tied for 7th in assists (19)
  • Lucas Wallmark ranks 4th among league rookies in goals (15) and tied for 15th in points (25)


  • Brendan Woods missed 38 games starting Nov. 2
  • Sergey Tolchinsky missed two games starting Jan. 27
  • Andrew Miller missed 16 games from Dec. 17-Jan. 22
  • Roland McKeown missed three games from Jan. 18-22



  • None


  • Jan. 29 - Eddie Lack recalled by Carolina
  • Jan. 29 - Daniel Altshuller assigned to Florida

Coming Up

February 3 at 9:05 p.m. - Checkers at Tucson

February 4 at 9:05 p.m. - Checkers at Tucson

By the Numbers

Power play 10.5% 30th 30th
Penalty kill 79.4% 23rd 22nd
Goals per game 2.43 29th 29th
Shots per game 30.39 11th 11th
Goals allowed per game 2.80 13th 13th
Shots allowed per game 29.02 11th 9th
Penalty minutes per game 11.52 5th 5th

Points Andrew Poturalski (28), Lucas Wallmark (25), Valentin Zykov, Sergey Tolchinsky (20)
Goals Lucas Wallmark (15), Valentin Zykov (10), Andrew Poturalski (9)
Assists Andrew Poturalski (19), Jake Chelios (15), Sergey Tolchinsky (14)
Power play goals Valentin Zykov (4), Four tied (2)
Shorthanded goals Five tied (1)
Game-winning goals Four tied (2)
Shots on goal Phil Di Giuseppe (103), Lucas Wallmark (92), Andrew Poturalski (90)
Penalty minutes Connor Brickley (49), Kyle Hagel (48), Mitchell Heard (47)
Plus/minus Matt Tennyson (+7), Haydn Fleury (+6), Four tied (+4)
Wins Michael Leighton (8)
Goals-against average Michael Leighton (2.32)
Save percentage Michael Leighton (.918)