Checkers’ Christmas in July

The Caniac Christmas in July post gave hockey-starving fans something to chew on until late September. In the efforts to keep Caniacs’ appetites satisfied, let’s continue the Ho-Ho-Ho Season in July Checkers style. Below are the top ten merry moments (in my opinion) from our Charlotte AHL team.

10. November 11, 2011: Checkers First AHL Hat Trick

Jacob MicFlikier claimed the Checkers first hat trick against Bridgeport. I’m unable to write further on Flicks. I’m still sad he won’t be in Canes colors come October.

9. March 27, 2011 Norfolk Annihilation

Playoff hopes were soaring as the regular season was coming to a close. The Checkers never gave up that hope. Justin Pogge earned his 20th win in this 8-2 beating of the Norfolk Admirals. Zac Dalpe also claimed two goals and an assist in the exciting contest. Recap here.

8. March 16, 2011: Checkers Wrestle Tigers and Win

Chris Terry led the troops in this victory with two goals, including the shootout winner. Michael Murphy also had his 20th win of the season. I completely failed to find footage of Terry’s goals {insert cuss words}, so please enjoy this November 8th clip.

7. April 28, 2011: Matsumoto Magic

The Game One winner against WBS belonged to Jon Matsumoto. He tied the contest and scored again to beat the Pens 5-2 after an intense 60 minutes.

6. April 20-22nd: Osala Extended

Everyone loves a good winning streak. Oskar Osala provided a killer playoff run as he earned four points in three days, including an extra-man goal to take the lead in Game 4 against Hershey. He will be missed in Charlotte next season.

5. All Year Round: Boychuk Beauties

Although Mic’d Up with Boychuk was one of the more humorous moments for fans, I would hate for some hilarities to diminish Zach’s spectacular contributions in the 2010-11 season. From his January 23rd hat trick to being named Reebok/AHL Player of the Week, there are numerous memorable plays to mention. Below is a clip from the November 19th OT win against Adirondack. Boychuk had a goal and assist on the game-winner.

4. April 24, 2011: OT Win vs Hershey

Charlotte takes the Bears out of the playoffs with this 2-1 overtime victory. Nicolas Blanchard captured the series win just 90 seconds into the extra round. Mike Murphy did is usual thang…stopping 26 pucks. Recap here

3. May 7, 2011: Checkers Believe!

A hollywood movie worthy ending. Just when you think the good guys have taken more than enough punches, they rise to the challenge. Chris Terry, Brett Sutter, and Zac Dalpe flexed their talents and took down Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after finding themselves down by three in the final period. The below video from the Checkers gives me chills. Love it! 

2. May 4, 2011 Return of the Murph

How do you come back from healing a concussion for four weeks? Mike Murphy made that answer very clear: SHUTOUT. The recovered goalie made an outstanding 44 saves on May 4th against the Pens to win 1-0. It was just one of many stellar playoff performances. Murph went 4-1 against Hershey to kill off the defending AHL champs. Aside from his skills on the ice, the netminder was named AHL Man of the Year.  Makes you sick doesn’t it? He is like the male version of Mary Poppins, “Practically perfect in every way.”

1. All Season Long: Zach “Bug” Bennett

It would be impossible to pick just one memorable moment with the young, passionate Checkers fan, but his coming home video probably sums it up best. The Checkers organization reminds us there is more to hockey than just plays and rules. It is how players, fans, and staff conduct themselves off the ice as well. The combination is why hockey the greatest sport…ever.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Charlotte Checkers Chris Terry Hershey Bears Jacob Micflikier Jon Matsumoto Justin Pogge Michael Murphy Norfolk Admirals Oskar Osala Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Zac Dalpe Zach Bennett Zach Boychuk

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