The Charlotte Checkers are hoping that last night’s loss to the Texas Stars was a wake-up call that just having talent doesn’t win you games. They will be looking for a complete 60-minute effort tonight as they play the first of back-to-back games at home against the Lake Erie Monsters. The loss to the Stars ended a franchise best five-game winning streak for the Checkers.
Last night’s loss coupled with Milwaukee’s win drops the Checkers’ lead in the Midwest Division down to just three points, with the Admirals having three games in hand. The Checkers record stands at 14-7-1-1, good for 3rd place in the Western Conference. That third place is only courtesy of holding first place in their division, however, as both the fourth place Houston Aeros and the fifth place Abbotsford Heat both have more points than Charlotte.
The Checkers spent time this past week working on the powerplay in practice, however it has yet to translate into a game setting. In the past two games against Texas, the Checkers have gone 0-for-10 on the man-advantage and have given up a short-handed goal. Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Stars, Charlotte’s powerplay was 5th in the AHL, clicking at a rate of 20.4%. They now sit at 13th and their conversion rate has dropped down to 18.6%.
Left wing Chris Terry was kept of the scorer’s sheet last night, ending his eight-game point streak. In those eight games he picked up 2 goals and 9 assists. Drayson Bowman had gone goalless in seven games prior to scoring a short-handed goal in last night’s game against the Stars. Mathieu Roy, who assisted on Bowman’s goal, has now factored in on all three of the Checkers’ short-handed tallies this season (1G, 2A), tying him for the league lead in shorthanded points.
Goaltender Mike Murphy is expected to get the call in goal. In his last contest, a win on Wednesday night, Murphy stopped 25 of the Stars’ 27 shots on net, with 13 of those coming in the third period.
Lake Erie kicked off a six-game road swing with a 4-1 win Friday night in Rockford. The Monsters currently sit in third place in the North Division and ninth in the Western Conference with 22 points (10-10-1-1). They are 6-3-0-1 in their last ten games.
The Monsters are led offensively by right wing David van der Gulik who is clicking at more than a point per game with 19 points in 17 games. Several of the Monsters’ forwards are coming into their first match-up with the Checkers riding hot streaks. Leading his team with eight goals, Hugh Jessiman has scored four of those in his last five games. In their last four games, rookie Brad Malone has 2 goals and five assists and Ryan Stoa has two goals and four assists.
Rookie goaltender Trevor Cann has started the Monsters’ last three games, winning two out of the three. In those three games Cann has a 2.35 goals against average and 0.926 save percentage . In the thirteen games he has played this season, Cann has posted a record of 5-8-0 with a 3.07 goals-against average and 0.894 save percentage. Cedrick Desjardins has played in eight games for the Monsters with a 1.62 GAA and 0.948 SAV% (5-2-1).
Sunday, 03-Dec-2011: Monsters at Checkers, 5:00pm EST
Monday, 04-Dec-2011: Monsters at Checkers, 7:00pm EST
Saturday, 03-Mar-2012: Checkers at Monsters, 7:30pm EST
Sunday, 04-Mar-2012: Checkers at Monsters, 3:00pm EST
|NHL Affiliate||Carolina Hurricanes||Colorado Avalanche|
|Record||14-7-1-1 (8-2-0-1 at home)||10-10-1-1 (4-4-1-0 on road)|
|Standing||1st in Midwest Division
3rd in Western Conference
|3rd in North Division
9th in Western Conference
|Goals per Game||2.96||2.50|
|Goals Against per Game||2.52||2.68|
|Powerplay||Overall: 22 for 118 (18.6%) –
13th in AHL
Home: 8 for 56 (14.3%) –
23rd in AHL
|Overall: 15 for 95 (15.8%) –
25th in AHL
Road: 7 for 39 (17.9%) –
18th in AHL
|Penalty Kill||Overall: 81 for 99 (81.8%) –
15th in AHL
Home: 39 for 47 (83.0%) –
13th in AHL
|Overall: 85 for 103 (82.5%) –
11th in AHL
Road: 37 for 44 (84.1%) – 8th in AHL
|Penalty Minutes per Game||14.87||19.41|
|Team Leaders||Points: J. Matsumoto (21)
Goals: J. Matsumoto, J. Samson (9)
Assists: Chris Terry (14)
Shots: J. Samson (101)
+/- : J. Matsumoto (+8)
PIM: Justin Soryal (47)
Wins: Mike Murphy (8)
GAA: Justin Peters (2.34)
SAV%: Justin Peters (0.924)
|Points: David van der Gulik (19)
Goals: Hugh Jessiman (8)
Assists: David van der Gulik (13)
Shots: Ryan Stoa (64)
+/- : Cameron Gaunce (+7)
PIM: Hugh Jessiman (44)
Wins: C. Desjardins, T. Cann (5)
GAA: C. Desjardins (1.62)
SAV%: C. Desjardins (0.948)
|Current Team Streak||1 loss||1 win|
Hurricanes / Checkers fans - come on out to TWCA to support our future Canes. If you are not able to make it to Charlotte, the game will be broadcast on WBCN 1660 AM. Both audio and video can also be found on www.AHLLive.com or you can receive game updates on Twitter by following @CheckersInGame.