Down On The Farm – Checkers Weekend Wrap-up


The Charlotte Checkers faced yet another tough three-in-three set on the road this past weekend. With all three games against division rivals, the boys in red had a perfect opportunity to further distance themselves from their Midwest Division foes. The weekend looked promising, starting with a 4-2 victory over the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night, however took a turn in the wrong direction in Chicago where the Checkers dropped two games to the Wolves. The disappointing 1-1-1 finish over the weekend allowed the Wolves to pull within one point of Charlotte in the division race, with them still holding two games in hand over the Checkers. Here’s a look at how the games played out…

Checkers 4, Rivermen 2 (17-Feb-2012)

The Checkers jumped out to a fast start in Peoria Friday night with Zac Dalpe scoring the game’s first goal on a rebound just 53 seconds in. Three minutes later, Zach Boychuk  picked up his 14th of the season to give Charlotte a two goal lead. Justin Shugg, recalled from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades prior to the game, would round out the scoring in the first frame and send the Checkers to the first intermission holding a 3-0 lead. 

After no goals by either team in the second period, Peoria tried to make a game of it in a wild third. Evgeny Grachev beat Checkers’ netminder John Muse just 32 seconds into the frame. Defenceman Michal Jordan  answered for the Checkers quickly, restoring the three goal lead. Boychuk nabbed his second point of the night with the assist on Jordan’s marker. Shugg (1G, 1A) and AJ Jenks (2A) also finished the night with two point games.

John Muse continued to be a force in net, finishing with 26 saves on the evening.

Official Game Sheet: here

Wolves 1, Checkers 0 (SO) (18-Feb-2012)

Saturday night saw an intense goaltending duel between John Muse and Chicago’s Eddie Lack. Both netminders stopped all shots they faced through 65 minutes, sending the game into a shootout. Through six rounds, Muse  denied three of six Wolves’ shooters, but Lack was one better, stopping four of six from the Checkers. Though Muse picked up the loss for the Checkers, he is still credited with the shutout, his second of the season, for turning away all 32 shots sent his way. Chris Terry and AJ Jenks had the shootout goals for Charlotte.

Official Game Sheet: here

Wolves 6, Checkers 3 (19-Feb-2012)

Less than twenty-four hours after neither team could break the goal line, the goals came fast and furious on Sunday afternoon. Chicago jumped out to a quick two goal lead in the first period, but the Checkers were able to erase that deficit with a late first period goal from Justin Shugg and an early second period goal from AJ Jenks. The wear and tear of a three-in-three and a difficult travel schedule for Charlotte started to show though as the Wolves restored the two goal lead just minutes later. Justin Soryal added a goal for the Checkers in the second, but the Wolves’ attack proved to be too much to overcome as they added two more goals in the third, one an empty net with only nine second remaining in the game.

Muse, starting in his third game in three nights, allowed more than three goals for just the first time this season. He finished the afternoon with 20 saves.

Official Game Sheet: here

What’s up next…

The Checkers are headed back home for two games against the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Barons. You can catch game audio and/or video Friday and Saturday night at 7pm EST on Saturday’s game will also be broadcast on Time Warner Cable digital channel 520 throughout the Carolinas.

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