AHL: Checkers continue to lead the South Division
The Charlotte Checkers continue to find ways to win games and stay atop the South Division and second overall in the Western Conference with a 10-3-0-2 record (22 points). The Charlotte Checkers’ success has stemmed from their success scoring the puck both even-strength and on the power play, where they currently rank first in the American Hockey League, while also playing strong defense to limit the number of opportunities opponents have.
The Checkers won 4-3 in San Antonio, Texas against the San Antonio Stampede this past Friday and then lost 1-0 in a shootout the following night in Austin, Texas against the Texas Stars. The win and shootout loss gained the Checkers three out of a possible four points in the standings.
The Checkers defeated the Stampede 4-3 despite trailing 2-0 late in the second period. Nicolas Blanchard got the scoring started for the Charlotte checkers, scoring a short-handed goal with 5:02 remaining in the second period; the goal was Blanchard’s second of the season and was assisted by Justin Faulk. Zac Dalpe put the Checkers in the lead by scoring two goals in a 2:16 span in the beginning of the third period; Dalpe scored the first :56 into the third period on the powerplay (unassisted) and his second at the 3:12 mark off a pass from Chris Terry. The goals were Dalpe’s fourth and fifth of the season respectively. Jerome Sampson added the eventual game-winning goal 1:39 later with assists from Riley Nash and Justin Peters, the goal was Sampson’s third of the season.
Starting goaltender Justin Peters made 22 saves on 25 shots faced, recorded his third assists of the season and earned his fourth straight win in games he has started for the team.
The Checkers traveled to Austin, Texas the following night to face the Texas Stars and fell 1-0 in penalty shootout. Starting goaltender Dan Ellis stopped all 30 shots he faced in regulation and the overtime period, but was beaten by Toby Petersen in the ninth round of the shootout to earn his second shootout loss of the season. Jerome Sampson gave the Checkers an early lead in the second round of the shootout but none of the other shooters could convert to seal a victory.
The Charlotte Checkers take to the ice again Wednesday, November 21, in Norfolk, Virginia against the Norfolk Admirals.
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