Checkers’ contests for January came to a close Friday night in Charlotte and I’m sure the team and staff couldn’t be more thrilled. Although it is not to say the AHL team played poorly this month (7-5-1), rather it was a mighty difficult schedule. You could teach first graders a prime geography lesson based on the travel-heavy line-up. Planes and busses carried the boys from San Antonio to Milwaukee and to Grand Rapids to Abbotsford, BC with a couple stops along the way.
If the exhausting schedule wasn’t a big enough challenge, players had to say goodbye to teammate Jon Matsumoto and hello to Evgenii Dadonov and A.J. Jenks in a trade with Florida.
New and old injuries also plagued the team. Usual starting goalie Mike Murphy has missed two games while Durno, Roy, Murray, and Shugg remain out of the roster.
Zac Dalpe left the game in the second period Friday night after a hard hit from behind courtesy of Icehog’s Ben Youds. Drayson Bowman immediately dropped gloves for his teammate, a rare action for the forward, which resulted in 5 minute fighting major with an additional 12 penalty minutes for instigating. You can put those penalty minutes in a brown bag, place it on the ref’s porch, and light it on fire as far as I am concerned.
For the second night, Peter LeBlanc captured two tallies. Charlotte gave up a two goal lead and Rostilav Olesz would score the game-winner for Rockford with roughly 8 minutes remaining in the contest. Bobby Sanguinetti and Rasmus Rissanen scored for Charlotte. The shot passed Alec Richards extended Sanguinetti’s point streak to 8 games. Chris Terry’s assist also sealed his 8 game point streak.
John Muse ended his five game winning record with a final score of 3-2.
Canes and Checkers fans anxiously await to hear the status of Zac Dalpe, who just recently returned to Charlotte. Sending prayers and happy thoughts Dalps!
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