The Checkers are finally back in Charlotte for some home games. Here’s a look back at the final week of the longest road swing in Checkers’ history that spanned 9 games over a three week period.
11Nov2011 – Oklahoma City Barons 1, Charlotte Checkers 0
Gilbert Brule scored for the Barons just 3:44 into the first period on a backhand shot that beat Justin Peters. Peters and Barons’ netminder Yann Danis spent the rest of the game in a goaltending duel as both teams exchanged quality scoring chances. The game marked the first time this season that the Checkers have been shutout and brought an end to Jerome Samson’s seven game point streak. The Checkers played without forward Chris Terry who was serving the first game of a two game suspension for his hit on Grand Rapids’ goaltender Joey MacDonald the previous weekend.
12Nov2011 – Charlotte Checkers 3, Oklahoma City Barons 2
After his strong outing against the Barons the night before, Justin Peters got the call in net again, making back-to-back starts for the first time this season. The Checkers jumped out to a 3 goal lead on tallies by Jon Matsumoto, Brett Sutter and Justin Soryal. A late second period goal for the Barons followed by an early goal in the third made for some tense moments for the Checkers, but key third period saves by Peters and a great effort on the penalty kill late in regulation helped secure the win. The Checkers again played without Chris Terry who was serving the second game of his two game suspension.
13Nov2011 – Houston Aeros 5, Charlotte Checkers 2
The final game in this swing for the road-weary Checkers was a tough one where fatigue finally started to show in a slow start that could not be overcome. Matt Pistilli scored a powerplay goal in the second period and Jon Matsumoto added a goal in the third. After going on a seven game point streak, Jerome Samson was held pointless for the third consecutive game. Mike Murphy stopped 26 of Houston’s 30 shots in the losing effort.
The success of this long road-trip on the heels of a 5 game homestand that saw the Checkers go 4-1-0 has translated into an overall 9-6-1 record, good for 1st place in the Midwest Division and 2nd in the Western Conference. The Checkers will be looking to take advantage of the upcoming string of home games (seven of the next eight will be played at Time Warner Cable Arena) to help solidify/improve upon those standings. The first game of that homestand will be this Friday, 18Nov2011 at 7:00pm EST against the Rockford Icehogs. Come on out to TWCA and support our future Canes!