Checkers Check-In (November 30)
It’s Friday and that means it’s time for our weekly check-in on our Charlotte Checkers. And we’re bringing more good news! Last Friday when we checked in the Checkers were preparing for a pair of home games against the Laval Rocket on Saturday and Sunday. Well, Charlotte continued their good work on the season and won both of these games, adding four more points to their AHL-lead 33. The Checkers currently lead the Atlantic Division by six points over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The first game against the Laval Rocket last Saturday resulted in a 4-2 victory, in which goals from Valentin Zykov and Patrick Brown gave the Checkers an early lead. When the Rocket answered right back with a pair of goals of their own, the Checkers took care of business to put the game away behind netminder Alex Nedeljkovic’s 14th victory of the season, which leads the AHL. The next day the Checkers completed the two-game sweep of the Rocket with a 3-1 victory, with Aleksi Saarela, Martin Necas, and Roland McKeown each scoring a goal.
After Sunday’s win, the Checkers had four days off to recuperate, and will be back in action tonight on the road against the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins affiliate). The Bruins are 8-8-3 on the season and in 7th place in the Atlantic. Tomorrow night the Checkers will travel to Hartford to take on the Wolf Pack, who are the New York Rangers affiliate. The Wolf Pack are 10-9-1 on the season, and 10 points behind the Checkers. In a strange scheduling effort, the Checkers will travel back to Providence for a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Bruins. With a busy weekend ahead for the squad, I’m hoping the Checkers can come away Sunday evening with at least four points before they begin another road-trip next weekend.
Charlotte will be without forward Clark Bishop this weekend as he has been recalled by the Hurricanes to be ready to play against the Ducks tonight. Bishop has played in seven games this season for the Canes. Valentin Zykov and Scott Darling are set to re-join the Checkers roster after being placed on waivers by the Hurricanes. Zykov is an absolute scoring machine and Darling is a very solid goaltender who came up with the Blackhawks, and who is looking to get back on track this season after dealing with an early injury. If you’re not able to make travel plans to catch the games this weekend in the Northeast, like always you’ll be able to watch them on AHLtv. Go Checkers!