The busy month of November rolls on this week, as the team will visit Milwaukee on Tuesday before heading to San Antonio for a pair of contests this weekend.
Week in Review
Last week's record2-1-0
Last 10 games7-3-0
Checkers 5, Iowa 4Returning to Iowa for the second time in three weeks, the Checkers got their revenge on the Wild, topping them in a back and forth battle. After Valentin Zykov kicked things off with an early power-play goal, both teams’ offenses came to life, as they traded goals until Iowa headed into the locker room with a 4-3 lead. After things settled down in a scoreless second, Kyle Hagel evened the score in the third and Patrick Brown netted what would hold as the game winner in the final five minutes of regulation. Between the pipes, Alex Nedeljkovic shook off his rough start to shutout the Wild for the final two periods, and his 20 saves were enough to earn his first AHL win. Full recap
Checkers 4, Iowa 1The Checkers picked up another sweep in Iowa the following night, riding a Matt Tennyson hat trick to a big 4-1 victory. Tennyson opened the scoring late in the second, but the Wild quickly responded to send the game into the third tied at one. Tennyson put the visitors back on top early in the third, followed by Clark Bishop extending that lead with his first goal as a pro. The Checkers locked down the Wild from then on out, and an empty netter completed Tennyson’s first career hat trick and sealed Charlotte’s sixth straight win. Full recap
Rockford 3, Checkers 0In the last leg of their first three-in-three of the season, the Checkers couldn’t keep their winning ways going, dropping their first game this month to Rockford. Charlotte struggled to create offense, firing just 16 shots on goal in the final two periods combined and failing to beat netminder Lars Johansson all night. Brandon Mashinter provided all the offensive production for the home team, notching a goal in each period to pick up a hat trick and send the Checkers packing with a 3-0 loss. Full recap
Three Stars Of The Week
3rd StarAndrew Miller- 0g, 2a
2nd StarLucas Wallmark- 0g, 2a
1st StarMatt Tennyson- 3g, 0a
3-in-3The Checkers completed the first of two three-in-threes this season over the weekend, emerging 2-1-0. Taking four of a possible six points makes this the team’s best three-in-three result since the 2013-14 campaign.
Charlotte is now 52-35-12 all time in three-in-threes. They’ve enjoyed the most success in the first games, going 19-10-4, while they have struggled the most in the final leg, posting a 16-14-3 record.
LockdownDespite a few hiccups as of late, the Checkers’ have been one of the strongest defensive teams in the AHL this season. They rank third in the league in terms of goals against per game and second in terms of shots against per game, and have allowed two or fewer goals in six of their last eight contests.
The majority of the Checkers’ success this season has stemmed from that stingy defense, as they are 5-1-0 when allowing two or fewer goals in a game.
A big contributing factor to the Checkers’ overall defensive prowess this season has been the play of Michael Leighton. The veteran netminder was saddled with his first loss of the year on Saturday, bringing his record to 6-1-0, but even with that blemish he has put up jaw-dropping numbers.
- Canes Recall Matt Tennyson Read More
Last Week's News
Leighton ranks second in the AHL in goals-against average, with his 1.44 mark leading all goalies with at least five games played (the lone player ahead of him in the league rankings is Penguins rookie Casey DeSmith, who has appeared in four games and is right at the minute cutoff to qualify).
The win over Iowa on Friday was the 227th of Leighton’s AHL career, moving him past Gord Henry and into sole possession of seventh all time. He needs two more to tie Bobby Perreault for sixth.
Matt TrickWhen Matt Tennyson lit the lamp three times on Saturday in Iowa, it was not only extremely impressive, it was something the Checkers hadn’t seen in a long time.
Tennyson’s three-goal performance is the first since the 2013-14 season, ending a drought that lasted over two whole seasons. It’s the seventh hat trick in franchise history, the first ever by a defenseman and only the third by a player not named Zach Boychuk.
Missing YouThe Checkers have been without their top two scorers for the last two game as Derek Ryan and Brock McGinn were recalled by the Hurricanes Friday evening.
Those two contests marked the third and fourth games over the last two seasons in which both players were out of the lineup. In those four games without McGinn and Ryan, the team scored just five goals total and were shut out twice.
Losing the captain alone from the lineup has proven to be a big hit for the Checkers’ offense as well. In the six games he missed last season, the team scored nine goals for a 1.50 goals per game average, well below their season mark of 2.82.
Freshman PhenomThough he has cooled from his red-hot start, Andrew Poturalski has emerged as a force on the team and one of the top first-year players in the league. He is tied for fourth among league rookies in scoring and is tied for second with a plus-7 rating.
With 10 points through the first 11 games of the year, Poturalski is on pace to compete for the franchise rookie single-season scoring record, set in 2010-11 when Zac Dalpe recorded 57 points.
- Derek Ryan is tied for 9th in the AHL in points (13)
- Michael Leighton ranks 2nd in the AHL in goals-against average (1.44), first among goalies with at least five games played, second in save percentage and third in shutouts (2)
- Andrew Poturalski is tied for fourth among league rookies in scoring (10) and tied for second in plus/minus (+8)
- Matt Tennyson is tied for fifth among league defensemen in goals (3)
- Keegan Lowe leads all AHL defensemen in shooting percentage (23.1)
- Trevor Carrick is tied for third among league blue liner in shots on goal (42)
- Brendan Woods missed five games starting Nov. 2
- Nov. 12 - Josh Wesley recalled from Florida (ECHL)
- Nov. 11 - Phil Di Giuseppe assigned to Charlotte (AHL)
- Nov. 12 - Matt Tennyson recalled by Carolina (NHL)
- Nov. 11 - Brock McGinn recalled by Carolina (NHL)
- Nov. 11 - Derek Ryan recalled by Carolina (NHL)
By the Numbers
|CATEGORY||RECORD||AHL RANK||LAST WEEK|
|Goals per game||3.18||13th||t-13th|
|Shots per game||33.27||5th||5th|
|Goals allowed per game||2.36||3rd||2nd|
|Shots allowed per game||26.64||2nd||2nd|
|Penalty minutes per game||12.00||6th||12th|
|Points||Derek Ryan (13), Andrew Poturalski (10), Brock McGinn (8)|
|Goals||Derek Ryan, Brock McGinn (5), Andrew Poturalski (4)|
|Assists||Derek Ryan (8), Andrew Poturalski (6), Six tied (4)|
|Power play goals||Derek Ryan, Valentin Zykov (2)|
|Shorthanded goals||Patrick Brown, Derek Ryan, Brock McGinn, Patrick Dwyer (1)|
|Game-winning goals||Brock McGinn (2), Five tied (1)|
|Shots on goal||Trevor Carrick (42), Brock McGinn (35), Matt Tennyson (29)|
|Penalty minutes||Mitchell Heard, Valentin Zykov (14), Kyle Hagel (12)|
|Plus/minus||Andrew Poturalski (+8), Matt Tennyson (+7), Trevor Carrick (+6)|
|Wins||Michael Leighton (6)|
|Goals-against average||Michael Leighton (1.44)|
|Save percentage||Michael Leighton (.944)|