The Charlotte Checkers are in Chicago to take on the Wolves today in a New Year’s Eve matinee. The matchup is the third game in the eight game series that is currently tied at one game apiece. Chicago sits just three points behind second-place Charlotte in the Midwest Division, but does have one game-in-hand over their division rival.
The Checkers are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over Rockford last night. Jerome Samson picked up a goal to extend his point streak to four games (3G, 1A). Jon Matsumoto (4G, 1A) and Zach Boychuk (1G, 4A) also picked up points in the victory and now both have five points in their last four games. Chris Terry (1G, 2A) and Matt Pistilli (2G, 1A) each have three points in their last four. Defenceman Bobby Sanguinetti continued his hot hand and now has five assists in six games since returning from injury.
The Checkers streak of five consecutive games with at least one powerplay goal came to an end last night as they failed to convert on any of their three powerplay opportunities.
Goaltender Mike Murphy made his fifth consecutive start last night, making 26 saves in regulation and overtime and stopping all three shootout attempts. Coach Jeff Daniels has not yet indicated whether Murphy will get the nod again today or if rookie John Muse will get his first start.
Playing in his first game since 28-Oct-2011, center Cedric McNicoll returned to the line up and picked up one of the Checkers’ shootout goals. Rookie forward Justin Shugg will remain out of the lineup with an injury.
The Wolves have won seven of their last nine games to keep pace with the Checkers in the Midwest Division and are currently sitting in third place, just three points behind the Checkers. Tonight’s contest will be their third game in four days where they have picked up a 5-3 win over Rockford following a 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. Center Steve Reinprecht has been one of the hottest Wolves of late, tallying seven points in his last four games (2G, 5A). Center Jordan Schroeder has also been a key part of the team’s offence with seven points in his last seven (3G, 4A). All three of Schroeder’s goals in that stretch have been game-winners, including one against the Checkers back on 15-Dec-2011 that gave Chicago a 2-1 win. Second leading scorer Mark Mancari was recalled to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday and will not be available for tonight’s game.
Goaltender Eddie Lack has started six of the last seven games for the Wolves, posting a 4-2 record over that span. Matt Climie has won his last three decisions and was between the pipes for Chicago’s most recent win, a 5-3 decision over the Rockford Icehogs on Thursday.
Series tied 1-1-0-0
Thursday, 15-Dec-2011: Wolves 2, Checkers 1
Friday, 16-Dec-2011: Checkers 4, Wolves 2
Saturday, 31-Dec-2011: Checkers at Wolves, 4:00pm EST
Sunday, 08-Jan-2012: Checkers at Wolves, 4:00pm EST
Saturday, 18-Feb-2012: Checkers at Wolves, 8:00pm EST
Sunday, 19-Feb-2012: Checkers at Wolves, 4:00pm EST
Saturday, 10-Mar-2012: Wolves at Checkers, 7:00pm EST
Sunday, 11-Mar-2012: Wolves at Checkers, 3:00pm EST
|NHL Affiliate||Carolina Hurricanes||Vancouver Canucks|
|Record||18-11-2-1 (7-7-1-0 on road)||16-11-1-3 (8-4-0-2 at home)|
|Standing||2nd in Midwest Division
6th in Western Conference
|3rd in Midwest Division
7th in Western Conference
|Goals per Game||2.78||2.84|
|Goals Against per Game||2.63||2.74|
|Powerplay||Overall: 30 for 157 (19.1%) – 15th in AHL
Road: 15 for 75 (20.0%) – 12th in AHL
|Overall: 27 for 137 (19.7%) – 11th in AHL
Home: 14 for 56 (25.0%) – 2nd in AHL
|Penalty Kill||Overall: 111 for 132 (84.1%) – 9th in AHL
Road: 53 for 64 (82.8%) – 14th in AHL
|Overall: 110 for 133 (82.7%) – 12th in AHL
Home: 49 for 55 (89.1%) – 2nd in AHL
|Penalty Minutes per Game||14.88||16.26|
|Team Leaders||Points: Jon Matsumoto (29)
Goals: Matsumoto, Samson (13)
Assists: Chris Terry (17)
Shots: Jerome Samson (137)
+/- : Krueger, Shugg (+5)
PIM: Justin Soryal (70)
Wins: Mike Murphy (11)
GAA: Justin Peters (2.49)
SAV%: Justin Peters (0.920)
|Points: Darren Haydar (30)
Goals: Haydar, Connauton (9)
Assists: Darren Haydar (21)
Shots: Kevin Connauton (92)
+/- : Mark Matheson (+8)
PIM: Matt Clackson (92)
Wins: Matt Climie (9)
GAA: Eddie Lack (2.56)
SAV%: Matt Climie (0.926)
|Current Team Streak||3-0-1-0||1-0-0-0|
Topics: Bobby Sanguinetti, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Checkers, Chicago Wolves, Chris Terry, Eddie Lack, Jerome Samson, Jon Matsumoto, Jordan Schroeder, Mark Mancari, Matt Climie, Matt Pistilli, Mike Murphy, Steve Reinprecht, Zach Boychuk