The Charlotte Checkers dominated the Midwest Division for the majority of the season, but the month of March slowed their progress in the race to the playoffs. The Charlotte AHL team went 2-5-3 during the month of March, including back-to-back losses against Hershey and Lake Erie. That puts them 4 points behind first place Chicago Wolves in the Midwest. They are in a six-way tie for sixth place with 75 points in the Western Conference.
I’m going to blame injuries and call-ups as the two major factors. Bobby Sanguinetti missed three games in March during his stint with the Carolina Hurricanes. He comes second in points on the Checkers team with 42 tallies (9g, 33a). During that time, Checkers lost two contests to Norfolk. Also, Drayson Bowman hasn’t seem Charlotte ice since January as he has been playing with the Canes. He has 22 points in 35 games with the Checkers.
Then the Great Goalie Depression occurred, where both Justin Peters and Michael Murphy were sent to Raleigh leaving ECHL tendy, John Muse, to manage Checkers ice with the back-up of PTO’s. I will say John Muse did a fantastic job in Charlotte with 1.81 GAA and .941 SV% in 15 games.
Side note, Peters has not seen a win with his AHL team since November 27th. He went 0-3-1-1 for the month of March. His longest stint with the Canes was from February 17th-25th. Murphy posted a 2-2-0-1 record in March.
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy the AHL boys are getting their NHL ice time, but does create some roster shuffling.
The injury list has been extensive with the Checkers. Durno, Roy, Nash, Rissanen, Krueger, Soryal, and more have collectively sat a good stretch of games. Soryal is expected to be out the remainder of the season.
The Charlotte Checkers need to finish the month strong with their back-to-back games against Griffins and Rivermen this weekend. Please visit the their website for more in depth recap of this month’s games. And…Let’s Go Checkers!