The Checkers opened up the 2017-18 campaign with a bang, racking up 10 total goals and downing two division rivals. They’ll now set their sights on the upcoming visit from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the team’s home opening 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 5, Hartford 4

In their season opener, the Checkers battled back from two different two-goal deficits to upend the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-4. The home squad had built up a 3-1 lead midway through the second frame when Lucas Wallmark threaded a seeing-eye wrister to the back of the net to pull Charlotte within one. The Wolf Pack responded early in the third period to regain their multi-goal lead, but the Checkers poured it on down the stretch. Aleksi Saarela tucked a puck around the outstretched Hartford netminder halfway through the frame, then Valentin Zykov capitalized on a man advantage minutes later to even the score. The game appeared to be on a course for overtime until rookie Warren Foegele collected a loose puck off the goalie's pad and hammered it home for his second tally of the night and the game winner. Alex Nedeljkovic was between the pipes for the Checkers and stopped 23 of the 24 shots he was faced with, including 11 of 12 in the final frame. Full recap

Checkers 5, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2

One night later in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the Checkers faced a similar hole, falling behind 2-1 with five minutes remaining in the middle frame. That lead would evaporate in the final two minutes of the period, however, thanks to a power-play strike from Phil Di Giuseppe followed quickly by a shorthanded goal from the red-hot Warren Foegele. With the Penguins reeling, the Checkers put the home squad away in the third thanks to another shorthanded tally from Foegele, his fourth goal in two games, and a full-ice empty netter from Di Giuseppe, sealing the 5-2 victory for Charlotte. After making a brief cameo in Friday’s contest, Jeremy Smith made his first start as a Checker and turned aside 28 of 30 shots. Full recap

Three Stars Of The Week


3rd Star

Jeremy Smith

1-0-0, 1.93 GAA, .935 SV%
Di Giuseppe

2nd Star

Phil Di Giuseppe

2g, 1a

1st Star

Warren Foegele

4g, 0a



Friday’s win over Hartford moved the Checkers to 4-3-1 all-time in season openers and was the first opening night victory since the 2015-16 campaign. The team then picked up another win on Saturday, marking the second time in franchise history that Charlotte has won consecutive games in regulation to begin the season.

The Checkers’ best start in team history came in 2015-16, when they went 3-0-0 to begin the season.


Lucas Wallmark
  • Checkers' Lineup Comes Together On Eve Of Season Read More

Last Week's News

Warren Foegele caught some eyes heading into the regular season after a lights out preseason slate, but the question remained whether the rookie would be able to replicate that success once the games mattered. Fortunately for the Checkers, he wasted no time showing he belonged. Foegele lit the lamp twice in Friday’s win over Hartford, including the game-winner with a minute left in regulation, then followed that up with another two-goal performance on Saturday, again picking up the game winner.

Foegele is the first rookie in franchise history and just the fourth player overall to score two goals in a season opener. The 21-year-old’s 4 goals are also the most by any Checkers rookie in their first two AHL games.


The 10 goals scored by the Checkers over their first two games of the season are the most in franchise history. Charlotte recorded at least five goals – their total from each contest this past weekend – 10 times during the entirety of last season’s 76-game slate, but only hit that plateau in consecutive games twice.


The Checkers enjoyed a successful weekend on the PK. They killed off nine of the 10 power plays they were assessed over the two contests and potted a pair of shorthanded goals along the way. Charlotte, which tied for ninth in the AHL last season with nine shorthanded goals, is currently the only team in the league with more than one.

Warren Foegele netted each of the Checkers’ shorthanded tallies, which both came during Saturday’s win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The franchise single-season record is three, set by Zac Dalpe in 2012-13.

The Checkers had a strong showing on the other side of special teams as well. Charlotte’s power play, which ranked last in the league a season ago, scored once in each game, capitalizing twice on 11 man advantages.


A big key heading into the season for the Checkers was improving their road record from a year ago, when they registered the conference’s second-fewest road wins. The two victories this past weekend could go a long way to doing that, as the team was only able to win consecutive games away from home three times all of last season and never strung together a road win streak longer than that.


  • Warren Foegele leads all rookies in goals and points, is tied for fifth overall in scoring and tied for the league lead in goals
  • Warren Foegele leads the league in shorthanded goals, shorthanded points and game-winning goals
  • Valentin Zykov leads the league in shooting percentage
  • Jeremy Smith ranks eighth in the league in goals-against average
  • Roland McKeown is tied for the league lead among defensemen in shorthanded assists and shorthanded points
  • Trevor Carrick is tied for third among AHL defensemen in shots


  • Brenden Kichton missed 2 games starting Oct. 6



  • None


  • None

Coming Up

Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:15 pm - Checkers vs. Bridgeport

Novant Health
  • Opening Weekend
  • Schedule Magnet giveaway courtesy of Novant Health

Saturday, Oct. 14 at 6 pm - Checkers vs. Bridgeport

Novant Health
  • Opening Weekend
  • My First Checkers Game - $5.50 kids tickets for kids 12 and under and free jerseys for the first 1,500 kids
  • Schedule Magnet giveaway courtesy of Novant Health

By the Numbers

Power play 18.2% t-12th N/A
Penalty kill 90.0% 9th N/A
Goals per game 5.00 t-5th N/A
Shots per game 30.00 t-13th N/A
Goals allowed per game 3.00 t-11th N/A
Shots allowed per game 29.00 16th N/A
Penalty minutes per game 10.00 8th N/A

Points Warren Foegele (4), Lucas Wallmark, Phil Di Giuseppe (3)
Goals Warren Foegele (4), Phil Di Giuseppe, Valentin Zykov (2)
Assists Lucas Wallmark, Patrick Brown, Andrew Miller (2)
Power play goals Valentin Zykov, Phil Di Giuseppe (1)
Shorthanded goals Warren Foegele (2)
Game-winning goals Warren Foegele (2)
Shots on goal Warren Foegele, Trevor Carrick (8), Phil Di Giuseppe, Aleksi Saarela (6)
Penalty minutes Trevor Carrick, Sergey Tolchinsky (4), Six tied (2)
Plus/minus Warren Foegele (+4), Patrick Brown, Philip Samuelsson (+3)
Wins Jeremy Smith, Alex Nedeljkovic (1)
Goals-against average Jeremy Smith (1.93)
Save percentage Jeremy Smith (.935)