The Charlotte Checkers face off against the Rockford Icehogs tonight at Time Warner Cable Arena at 7:00pm EST. This is the first home game for Charlotte since 23-Oct-2011 when they defeated the Norfolk Admirals by a score of 3-1. So, how do the Checkers match up against their divisional foes?
The Checkers are coming off a nine-game road trip that spanned over the course of three weeks. Despite facing injuries, call-ups, and a very tough travel schedule, they managed to bring home a 5-4-0 record.
Two Checkers are coming into tonight’s tilt riding two-game scoring streaks – Drayson Bowman (2A) and current points leader Jon Matsumoto (2G). Jerome Samson will be looking to start a new streak after having his seven-game scoring streak (4G, 6A) snapped when Charlotte was shutout in Oklahoma City last Friday. The Checkers should also receive an offensive boost with the Hurricanes assigning center Zac Dalpe to Charlotte on Thursday. Dalpe, an AHL All-Rookie selection last season, had been seeing limited minutes on the fourth line in Carolina since returning from a lower body injury earlier his month. He can expect to see some big minutes in key situations with the Checkers. Jared Staal and Scott Pitt will be the healthy extras in tonight’s contest. Center Cedric McNicoll is still out with an injury.
On the defensive side of the puck, the Checkers will be without 19-year old rookie Justin Faulk who was recalled to Carolina on Thursday. Faulk has been leading all Charlotte defensemen in ice time throughout the season, proving to be an integral part to both the penalty kill and the power play units. Faulk’s departure coupled with an injury to Bobby Sanguinetti leaves the Checkers with only 5 blueliners so a defensive call-up is expected today. This opens up a prime opportunity for prospects Justin Krueger and Rasmus Rissanen to see increased minutes with increased responsibility.
Charlotte goaltenders Mike Murphy and Justin Peters have almost identical numbers thus far on the season and Head Coach Jeff Daniels has always been one to share time between his netminders pretty equally. Peters has looked very sharp since returning from injury, allowing only 4 goals in his last three starts, stopping 84 of 88 shots in that span. Peters is expected to get the start tonight with Murphy getting the call for Sunday’s game.
Rockford comes into Charlotte in the midst of a three-game losing skid, giving up a total of 15 goals against across those three games. In the previous meeting between the two teams on 06-Nov-2011, the Checkers came away with a 4-2 win.
The Icehogs will be without their second leading goal scorer, Ben Smith, who has been recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks. They should however have the services of Rostislav Olesz who has been assigned to Rockford by the Hawks. Olesz, a seven year NHL veteran, was held scoreless in the six games he has played for Chicago this year.
Charlotte leads series 1-0-0
Sunday, 06-Nov-2011: Checkers 4, Icehogs 2
Friday, 18-Nov-2011: Icehogs at Checkers, 7:00pm EST
Sunday, 20-Nov-2011: Icehogs at Checkers, 3:00pm EST
Friday, 30-Dec-2011: Checkers at Icehogs, 8:05pm EST
Thursday, 26-Jan-2012: Icehogs at Checkers, 7:00pm EST
Friday, 27-Jan-2012: Icehogs at Checkers, 7:00pm EST
Tuesday, 10-Apr-2012: Checkers at Icehogs, 8:05pm EST
Saturday, 14-Apr-2012: Checkers at Icehogs, 8:05pm EST
|NHL Affiliate||Carolina Hurricanes||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Record||9-6-1-0 (4-1-1-0 at home)||5-8-1-0 (4-2-1-0 on road)|
|Standing||2nd in Midwest Division |
6th in Western Conference
|5th in Midwest Division |
14th in Western Conference
|Goals per Game||2.69||3.00|
|Goals Against per Game||2.50||3.86|
|Powerplay||Overall: 16 for 80 (20.0%) – 10th in AHL |
Home: 5 for 24 (20.8%) – 7th in AHL
|Overall: 12 for 69 (17.4%) – 17th in AHL |
Road: 7 for 34 (20.6%) – 12th in AHL
|Penalty Kill||Overall: 54 for 66 (81.8%) – 13th in AHL |
Home: 13 for 15 (86.7%) – 7th in AHL
|Overall: 52 for 70 (74.3%) – 29th in AHL |
Road: 25 for 32 (78.1%) – 23rd in AHL
|Penalty Minutes per Game||15.00||18.21|
|Team Leaders||Points: Jon Matsumoto (15) |
Goals: Jerome Samson (7)
Assists: Jon Matsumoto (9)
Shots: Jerome Samson (83)
+/- : Drayson Bowman (+5)
PIM: Chris Terry (31)
Wins: Mike Murphy (6)
GAA: Murphy, Peters (2.36)
SAV%: Mike Murphy (0.926)
|Points: Brett McLean (14) |
Goals: Brandon Segal (7)
Assists: Brian Connelly (12)
Shots: Brian Connelly (49)
+/- : B. Segal, P. LeBlanc (+2)
PIM: Brandon Bollig (43)
Wins: Alec Richards (4)
GAA: Alexander Salak (3.54)
SAV%: Alexander Salak (0.882)
|Current Team Streak||1 loss||3 losses|
Hurricanes fans - come on out to TWCA to support our future Canes. If you are not able to make it to Charlotte, then both audio and video can be found on www.AHLLive.com or you can receive game updates on twitter by following @CheckersHockey.
Topics: AHL, Ben Smith, Bobby Sanguinetti, Carolina Hurricanes, Cedric McNicoll, Charlotte Checkers, Chicago Blackhawks, Drayson Bowman, Jerome Samson, Jon Matsumoto, Justin Faulk, Justin Krueger, Justin Peters, Mike Murphy, Rasmus Rissanen, Rockford Icehogs, Rostislav Olesz, Zac Dalpe