Calder Cup Round Two (Photo via

Cardiac Checker: Ding! Ding! Round Two with Penguins

As the Charlotte Checkers gear up for Game One with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Thursday, let’s take a glance at how each team measures up after six games into the Calder Cup race.

Statistics via


Statistics via

Clearly, several Checkers stepped up to defeat the Bears 4-2 in the round one series, but here are my top three favorite jaw-dropping, spill your  beer, stand up and cheer moments:

1. The Return of the Wings: Seeing Michael Murphy return from his injury and swallow pucks like he never missed a game was a special treat for his fans. I’m spoiled with witnessing Cam Ward magic all season, so I’m not easily impressed by other goalies. However, Murph made stops that drew an audible gasp from me several times. In the words of Chuck K, “Murph says no!”

2. Dalpe the Dominator: Holy puck, Zac Dalpe racked 3 goals and 5 assists in the series. Five points were stolen from the Hershey Bears in the first two games alone. Beautiful. Since I finally received my OSU love from former Buckeye, I will refrain from my usual ZD + KK = BFF rant.

3.  Finn-tabulous Game 5: In addition to Oskar Osala’s 2 goals and 2 assists, the Finn transcribed a goal nearly six minutes into the third to tie the contest after previously being down 3-0 to the Hershey Bears. He continued his rallywith two-consecutive helpers to bring the final score to 3-5. Oskar officially gained a new fan that night.

I am most certain I, along with my fellow Raleigh Road Trippers, celebrated harder last weekend than any of the Checkers…and we are ready to do it again!

Like CharlotteWilkes-Barre finished Round One 4-2-0 with 8 points. The Pens do not deserve my pretty excel boxes for the player stats. So, to sum up in dull text, Corey Potter has been Scranton’s top scorer in the play-offs with 1 goal and 5 assists. Steve Wagner, Joe Vitale, and Brett Sterling fall next in line with 4 points each. The next trio of Tim Wallace, Andrew Hutchinson, and Geoff Walker earned three points a piece.

Goaltending is comparable between the two teams. The Pens finished their first round with 4 wins, 2 losses, 10 GA, 158 saves and 0.940 SV%. Brad Thiessen was between the pipes for all six contests.

I’m sure Wilkes-Barre fans would like me to talk about the regular season statistics between the two teams, but I find it irrelevant. There are some players that would throw their own kin before a speeding train to win a play-off contest. Patrick Williams, of the AHL Report, tweeted Wednesday, “I put minimal stock in the AHL regular season. The crazy schedule, recalls, development agenda all influence regular-season play. Playoffs are just about the best team winning. Everyone starts on equal footing.”

The puck drops at 7:05pm Thursday night in Scranton and it will undoubtedly prove to be an exciting match-up.

Let’s Go Checkers!

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Tags: AHL Andrew Hutchinson Brad Thiessen Brett Sterling Calder Cup Cam Ward Charlotte Checkers Geoff Walker Joe Vitale Michael Murphy Oskar Osala Patrick Williams Steve Wagner Tim Wallace Wilkes- Zac Dalpe

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