AHL: Checkers win season opener in Houston


While the NHL owners and NHL Players’ Association work on establishing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the American Hockey League has begun its season. The Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers begun their season by naming four returning veterans as team Captain and home/away Alternate Captains and defeating the Houston Aeros 3-1 in Houston. The Checkers roster features current Hurricanes’ star Jeff Skinner (Center) and Justin Faulk (Defense) who are eligible due to the work stoppage and their entry-level NHL contracts.

The Charlotte Checkers named returning veteran forward Brett Sutter team Captain for the 2012-2013 season; Sutter served as team captain last season and scored 13 goals and added 16 assists (29 total points) in 63 games played. The team also named forward Nicholas Blanchard as an Alternate Captain for the fifth consecutive season; Blanchard scored nine goals and tallied 12 assists (21 total points) in 68 games played for the team in the 2011-2012 season. The final Alternate Captain position will be shared by forward Chris Terry (road games), who led the team in scoring with 16 goals and 43 assists (59 total points) last season, and defender Bobby Sanguinetti (home games) who was second on the team in scoring with 2011-2012 with 10 goals and 40 assists (50 total points).

All four recently named team captains helped lead the Checkers to a 3-1 victory in Houston against the Houston Aeros. Justin Peters started in net for the Checkers and made 27 saves on 28 shots faced, while Wallace and Terry scored a mere 1:23 apart in the third period. Carolina Hurricanes allstar rookie Justin Faulk had two assists in the game and also led the team with seven shots on goal. Jerome Sampson, who split time between the NHL and AHL last season, scored an empty-net goal late in the third period to secure the victory. The Checkers looked to seal the season-opening away series against the Houston Aeros Sunday at 8 p.m. in Houston.


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