Time to Celebrate: The Calder Cup is in Charlotte!
What a ride it’s been all season long for the Charlotte Checkers and their fans. After a regular season that ended in dominating fashion, the Checkers capped off the 2018-2019 season by winning the franchise’s first ever Calder Cup. Tonight Checkers fans will have the opportunity to celebrate with the team at Bojangles’ Coliseum for the public championship celebration at 7:00 p.m. The celebration is free, will have concessions, and should be a great time for the players and fans who have supported the team all season long.
Like I mentioned, the Checkers absolutely dominated the regular season. Their 110 total points were the most among all AHL teams, with the 2nd-best at 102 (Syracuse Crunch). In the Atlantic Division, the Checkers finished with a grand total of 15 points better than the 2nd place Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Very much like the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Checkers were the clear-cut best regular season team. But everyone knows how tough it is to follow up those type of regular seasons with success in the playoffs, with this year’s Lightning team being a case in point. That’s why going 15-4 in the playoffs and hoisting the Calder Cup trophy Saturday night made this season so much more special for the Checkers.
So, let’s take the time to celebrate the phenomenal season we were all lucky enough to witness. This is the first time the Checkers have brought a championship to Charlotte since 1996 when they were part of the lower-level ECHL. Before that they won EHL championships in 1957, 1971, and 1972, and SHL championships in 1975 and 1976. But now part of the highest level of minor league hockey, Charlotte is once again a championship city, and it feels good.
**Note: I have thoroughly enjoyed covering the Charlotte Checkers all season long, writing weekly “Charlotte Checker Check-Ins.” I’ve been a fan of the team for the last 6-7 years, going to games, but I’ve never really knew much about the players. Writing about them every week has allowed me to really get to know the team on a much better level and made me feel more ingrained with the team. It also made going to games this season even more enjoyable knowing who the players were. Of course, the sustained success the team had all year long made it very fun to cover as well. I look forward to covering the Checkers once again next season, writing the same weekly reports. Also shout out to Jason Atkins (Greazy Keyz), a follower of the site and our favorite organist! It’s such a treat going to games and hearing you on the keyz, and we can’t wait to hear your music again next season at the coliseum!