Despite stellar goaltending from Drew MacIntyre, Charlotte Checkers lose home opener 2-1.

In front of over 7277 Charlotte Checkers fans, the team lost their home opener to Grand Rapids by a score of 2-1.  The Griffins outshot the Checkers 43-19, and if not for stellar goaltending by Checkers newcomer Drew MacIntyre, the final score would have been very different.

Brody Sutter scored the Checkers lone goal, only 24 hours after he made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden. Sutter became the ninth member of his family to play in an NHL game. His was the first shot of the second period, and came mere seconds after one of the Checkers five power plays expired.

Sutter recognizes that his role on this year’s team is going to be a new one he’s still charting the course for.

“I need to be a leader. I know what kind of player I am,  I’m a defense first guy,” Sutter explained,  “but I need to step up a little bit more offensively…  JD has given me the opportunity, and I need to capitalize on it and help the boys out.”

Ten players new to the Checkers team made their regular-season home debut. Some of the newcomers include rookies Trevor Carrick, Carter Sandlak, Phil Di Giuseppe, Brock McGinn and Patrick Brown, who made his Charlotte debut tonight after starting the season with the Hurricanes.

The most notable new faces in today’s lineup include Chad LaRose, who won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes, Ben Holmstrom, a veteran defenseman and former AHL captain who is one of the Checkers alternate captains, and goaltender Drew MacIntyre.

MacIntryre, who was robbed of first star honors (they really should have asked me), made 39 saves, and prevented the Griffins from scoring on either of the two 5-on-3 opportunities they had during the game, made countless amazing saves.

MacIntyre comes to the Checkers with a long list of records, awards and statistics that will hopefully bring the team a veteran presence in the crease that the desperately need.

MacIntyre cited a lack of confidence in the reason for the team’s jitters. When asked if the abundance of new faces on the team was a reason for that, he was adamant it wasn’t.

“I don’t like the youth excuse. I don’t like excuses. I don’t like any of them. We just have to find a way to get better.”

 

 

 

Assorted notes:

  • Kudos to the team for the history introduction video. The Checkers are the longest lasting franchise in this city, and it’s something to be proud of!
  • The Checkers came close to breaking a record they only sat last Saturday in Chicago, with only 15 SOG all game. I counted two power plays where the home team didn’t register a single shot on net.
  • The Checkers had to kill eight penalties. Two of them included 5-on-3s.
  • My first opening night didn’t end with a point in the win column, but it sure was nice to see a season from the very beginning!

How I spent my summer vacation, by Chasing Checkers

Remember those essays you had to write on the first day of school? Well, this fall is my first fall in many many years where I’m not in school (yay Master’s degree completion) but I guess I still wanted to write an essay.  So here you go.  How I spent my summer vacation.

I must begin by saying thank you to the police, fire, medic and rescue workers who risked their lives 13 years ago after the senseless acts of violence done to America. So many innocent lives were lost… mothers, fathers, sons, daughters. Everyone I know was impacted in some way by the terrible tragedy, and I hope we never face another day like September 11, 2001.

I don’t have a very traditional career. I have one theater job that consumes me nine months of the year, and I supplement that with a great deal of freelancing. This summer, instead of taking most of the three months off, I picked up not one, not two, but three new part time jobs. One starts in the coming weeks, and two others consumed me this summer. Needless to say, my crazy life got a whole lot crazier, but I wouldn’t trade it for a “normal” career!

I still did what I could to enjoy my summer “vacation.”

  • I cheered the LA Kings onto their second Stanley Cup championship. I’m pretty sure it’s because I knit a pair of LA Kings socks and painted my toenails purple, something I failed to do in 2013 but did in 2012. So to all the Kings fans out there, you’re welcome. I brought them luck.
  • I checked a huge thing off of my personal bucket list by not only visiting the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, but seeing my favorite band play there on a tour after a nine year hiatus. Needless to say, Nickel Creek was magical and a dream come true seeing them perform together again.
  • I ran miles of feeder cable. I’m a tie in electrician in the summer, and at about 2000 feet of 4-0 a show, I ran a lot of cable for more concerts than I can count or remember. It was fun, and a new adventure.
  • I spent three weeks on the beach at Windy Hill. My grandfather built a family cottage in the 1940’s, and it has hardly been updated, but it’s home, and I’m grateful I get to spend time there, and the beers consumed on it’s porch (Coronado Brewing out of San Diego, CA is a new favorite!).
  • I knit something that won Best of Show at the NC Mountain State Fair. It heads to Raleigh for the State Fair next month, so keep your fingers crossed I get another ribbon and a $10 payout for my effort (that should cover the cost of one craft beer at a game, right?).

So, now that summer is over, I guess I should focus on what the fall and beyond holds for me. Hockey season is right around the corner, and I’ve had the Checkers on the mind a great deal. The team is going to be a very different one than previous seasons. A new yet-to-be-named captain, and at least one new alternate. Lots of new faces, but a handful of returning ones too.  I am excited to see how a very new team can create the chemistry of past seasons.

There are many players I will miss seeing on the ice, but change is good, and can be exciting. I am anxious to see how the season unfolds.

 

So, Checkers fans, who are you most anxious to see in action this year?

Who are you going to miss the most from last season’s team?

How do you think the Checkers will fair in 2014-15?

Who do you have your sights on for the new captain this season?

Introducing the 2014-15 AHL Schedule

Schedule day has arrived! A quick analysis tells me that the schedule is a bit easier than last season. The Checkers are still in the “West” division of the Western Conference, and are still the only team in the Eastern Time Zone in their division, but with the Abbotsford Heat moving to New York, there aren’t any cross-country flights in the Checkers future.

 

You can download the schedule in a variety of formats from the Checkers website here.

So… the 2014-15 schedule, by the numbers:

 

1 – The number of eastern conference teams the Checkers will face this year. Not surprisingly, those games are against Norfolk, the only driving distance team Charlotte has in the league.

2- The number of Canadian “American” Hockey League Teams the Checkers will play this year. So if you are a fan of hearing Oh! Canada, make sure you come see the Checkers play the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies.

3 – The number of three-in-three series the Checkers will have this season. This is an all-time-low. Last year, Charlotte had five three-in-threes, and in 2012-13, they had seven three-in-threes

5 – The Checkers longest home stand, which takes place from October 31 until November 10. They will face Hamilton, Texas and Norfolk during that stretch of games.

6 – The Checkers longest roadtrip in number of games, which takes place March 14-25. The team will visit exotic locations like Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Des Moines and Norfolk.

8 – Games against an Eastern conference team, all of them versus the Norfolk Admirals

12 – The number of times the Checkers will face the Oklahoma City Barons. That’s a lot

13 – The number of opponents the Checkers will face this season, the same number as last year. This year’s only new addition to the schedule is four games against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

24 – Games against the Midwest Division, who this season consists of the Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Lake Erie Monsters, Milwaukee Admirals and Rockford Ice Hogs.

36 – Games against the Checkers West division mates, which include the Iowa Wild, Oklahoma City Barons, San Antonio Rampage and the reigning Calder Cup champions, the Texas Stars.  One-third of these 36 games are against Oklahoma City.

38 – The number of home games in Charlotte. This is up from 36 last year, when the Checkers played two “home” games in Raleigh.

 

 

2014-15 Charlotte Checkers Contracts

First of all, congratulations to the Texas Stars on their first-ever Calder Cup victory.  It was a good playoffs, but I must admit I was too focused on my LA Kings winning a second Stanley Cup to follow the AHL as much as usual!

Oh, so much to report on in this off season…. from rumors of major western expansion in the AHL to places like California, the yet-to-be determined AHL realignment (and my wish for five divisions in five seasons as the Checkers looks to be coming true!), and off season moves by the Checkers and Hurricanes, there is a lot to talk about.  But to keep today’s update simple, I compiled a list of all of the Checkers currently under contract, along with d those who have expired contracts and have signed elsewhere in the off season.

A few days ago, it was announced that Mike Murphy has signed in Austria for next season.  Murphy is a player who I admire so much, both on and off the ice.  He was the Checkers first “Man of the Year” winner in the team’s inaugural AHL season.  That same year, he led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals, and has played some of the most epic games of his career for the Checkers.  2013-14 was a challenging season for Murphy between major goaltending injuries to himself and others.  He will be greatly missed. I will certainly follow his team in Austria (one of my favorite European countries!).

 

So… about the contract situation.  The Hurricanes and Checkers have a number of contracts to figure out in the coming month or so.  RFA qualifying offers should go out in the very near future, and as these are released, I’ll update them here.

2014-15 Charlotte Checkers under contract:

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Charlotte Checkers defeat OKC Barons in (another) shootout to win fourth straight.

For the second time in as many days, the Charlotte Checkers game ended in a shootout, with the Checkers fourth straight victory.  With their win, they moved to seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

The second period was the game changer for both teams, with six of the eight goals scored over a period of less than eight minutes.

The first two goals of the second period came off strange shots and weird angles.

First, Ben Eager roofed one over Murphy’s glove, a puck that hit the crossbar as it went into the net.

Charlotte Checkers goaltender John Muse stops a shootout attempt by OKC Barons center Alex Lavoie.  (Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck/Charlotte Checkers)

Charlotte Checkers goaltender John Muse stops a shootout attempt by OKC Barons center Alex Lavoie. (Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck/Charlotte Checkers)

Chris Terry kept the score even at two a piece with a strange shot from behind the crease that deflected into the goal off of Barons goaltender Richard Bachman’s skate.

The Barons came back with a vengeance, peppering Mike Murphy with pucks from all angles.

At the time of Mike Murphy getting pulled from the net, he’d faced many many more shots than the box score revealed, and the defense appeared invisible at times, and even Checkers defensemen Matt Corrente scored on Murphy (though the Barons Taylor Fedun was credited with that goal).

 

The goalie substitution in the second  period was a wakeup call for the Checkers bench.  Immediately, the focus and style of play changed. The defense in front of John Muse appeared to be much more present, and the team’s offense struck quickly and erased the deficit with a pair of goals.

 

Coach Jeff Daniels acknowledged that the decision to change goalies worked in the Checkers favor.  “There was still have the game to play there, and we knew we were going to get some chances, it was just a matter of bearing down in front.  We were hoping it would provide a spark, and it did.”

 

Within moments of Muse taking over the crease eight minutes into the second period, the Checkers scored twice more.  The first from Zach Boychuk with a great assist from Matt Pistilli.  The third Checkers goal in the second period came from Jared Staal, his second of the year, who roofed the puck over Richard Bachman’s blocker.

The third period was scoreless, as was the five-minute overtime, and for the second game in a row, the Charlotte Checkers and Oklahoma City Barons headed to the shootout, with the same result, a victory by the home team.  After five shooters for each team, the game was decided. Justin Shugg and Chris Terry both scored on their shootout attempts. The Barons Jack Combs scored his teams lone shootout goal.

 

 

Notes and quotes:

  • After the game, Zach Boychuk recognized that at times, the team plays very differently in front of the two Checkers goaltenders.  “Obviously, we’ve been really pulling for Murph the last few games, and we haven’t really been giving him much support.  It’s tough for him,” Boychuk continued, “But at the same time, when Muse comes in it seems like we’re able to find those goals and find ways to score and shut them down defensively. It’s just one of those things where all Muse is doing is winning and it’s good to have a guy like that we can lean on.”
  • Matt Pistilli made another big impact on today’s matchup against Oklahoma City, playing on a line with Boychuk and assisting on his second period goal, and the chemistry Pistilli continues to display with his past and present teammates is very apparent.
  • Zach Boychuk was complimentary of Pistilli’s contributions to the team.  “It seems like we’ve brought a lot of guys back this year. Guys that have played in the past and guys that have been huge contributions to our success this year, guys like Jenks and Pistilli who keep coming back. It’s nice that we’re finding chemistry and he (Pistilli) is a huge contributor.”

Charlotte Checkers win big against San Antonio, gain two more points in the standings.

The Charlotte Checkers came away with a gritty 4-3 win over San Antonio in front of a sold-out crowd tonight.

Chris Terry scored two of the Checkers three powerplay goals, extending his streak to five games.  He now has seven points over that stretch of games, and 31 points over the last 25 games (12g, 19a).  He’s sixth in the league with 59 points (26g, 23a). That’s #Terryiffic.

Despite two full powerplay opportunities for Charlotte during the first period, the team was outshot 13-11 and no scoring for either team.  The second period, thanks in part to nearly two minutes on a 5-on-3, had the Checkers outshooting their opposition 21-9, and had the Checkers leading 3-1 by the end of it.

San Antonio found the back of the net twice in the third period, but a late powerplay goal by Terry sealed the Checkers victory over the Rampage.

Nicolas Blanchard stood out as a major roleplayer in tonight’s win.  He was in the right place at the right time, and a key to Brody Sutter’s second period goal, and Coach Jeff Daniels spoke highly of Blanchard’s on-ice performance.

“Blanch is a guy [who] as coaches, we really appreciate.” Daniels continued, “We appreciate what he does not only for us but for his teammates on the ice.”

Chris Terry, the game’s first star, knows Sunday’s game will be another battle.

“They’ve got a really good team. A lot of NHL guys who play the body, play hard,” Terry continued, “We’re going to expect the same thing. We’re going to have to push back and nothing less than two points is acceptable at this time of the year.”

The playoff push continues for Charlotte, who now 12 games remaining, including two more against San Antonio.

Lucky 13 – the Charlotte Checkers and their quest for the playoffs

I know that for many, 13 is considered an unlucky number.  But it happens to be one of my favorites.  Good things seem to happen in and on 13s for me.  I got my Master’s degree in 2013.  Friday the 13th tends to be a very good luck day for me.  I bought my car on the 13th of August.  I like 13.  And I like the Checkers chances during their last 13 games of the 2013-14 season.

The AHL has a fantastic playoff primer that is updated daily, and can be found here, but I wanted to focus on the matchups during the Checkers month of play.

San Antonio – Two home games against the Rampage remain on March 21 & 23, with a third game in San Antonio as a part of a three-in-three weekend in April.  The Checkers are 4-1 against the Rampage this season, and all but one of those games was decided by only one goal, including a shootout win on March 7.  The only two-goal game was the Checkers only loss, at San Antonio in November.  While the Rampage sit in last place in the Western Conference, but the games this weekend could be very close if history repeats itself.

Iowa – The Checkers haven’t seen Iowa since mid-October, during the second weekend of the AHL season, and face them two times at home on March 25 and 26.  Charlotte lost both games in Des Moines.  The Wild are in a tough Midwest division, in which all of the four other teams (Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Chicago and Rockford) all sit in a playoff position.  The Wild are currently in 12th place in the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City – Of their final 13 games, the Checkers will face the Barons four more times.  Two at home, and two away.  As I write this, each team has played 63 games, and only one point separates them in the standings, with OKC sitting in 9th place in the Western conference, and the Checkers are in 10th.  The matchup between Charlotte and Oklahoma City has been a dramatic one this season.  The Checkers are 6-1-1 against the Barons.  After winning the first six games of the season in a dramatic fashion, the Checkers have lost their last two against Oklahoma City here at home, which were in early in February.  Needless to say, the key to the Checkers playoff hopes may lie in these four remaining games against the Barons, because if the Checkers can take the much needed points against a fierce opponent, they may have a chance of making the post season.

Grand Rapids – On paper, Grand Rapids may be the toughest opponent the Checkers have to face in their remaining 13 games.  They were last year’s Calder Cup champions, and are certainly in contention to repeat.  They sit atop their Midwest division, and are second place in the Western Conference.  The Checkers split a pair of games in Michigan in October, including a dramatic 5-0 shutout win by John Muse.  Taking a couple of points from the reigning Calder Cup champions will be a big victory for the Checkers.

Milwaukee – During the final weekend of the regular season , the Checkers have a quick two game roadtrip to the Midwest where they will face the Admirals and IceHogs.  Two years ago, Milwaukee was a sight of heartbreak.  I’d traveled to Milwaukee for the Checkers final game, and the winner of the game was playoff bound, the loser would have to cross their fingers and hope other games around the league turned out in their favor.  An overtime game would have resulted in both teams locking in a playoff berth.  Well, the Admirals won the game, the wildcard situation didn’t go Charlotte’s way, and the Checkers were eliminated from playoff contention.  To make a long story short, the game against Milwaukee will be huge.  The two teams are currently separated by only five points, and that margin could be much smaller in April.  Can the Checkers pull out a win?  Let’s hope so!  Charlotte is 2-1 this year against a tough Admirals squad, with both victories coming from John Muse.

Rockford – Charlotte faces the IceHogs for the eighth and final time this year on the last weekend of the AHL season. They are 4-2-0-1 against Rockford, who sit in eight place in the Western Conference.  They have four more points than Charlotte, and have the same number of games played, but fewer games in the win column. The IceHogs have nine OT and shootout losses has a lot to do with the extra points, as Charlotte has only three OT and shootout losses. There’s no doubt, the post season hopes could come down to this final game in Rockford!

 

So…. Where would you put the playoff outlook for the Charlotte Checkers this year?

 

On being an Olympic sports fan (three weeks late…)

Editors note – this has nothing to do with the Charlotte Checkers.  And although this is supposed to be a Checkers-focused site, they’ve been gone for what seems like forever, and I’ve barely had time to focus on anything but work in the past month.  But if you want to read weird ramblings about my love of the Olympics weeks after the most recent games ended, read on!

I know it’s been weeks since the 2014 Sochi Olympics ended, but I’m still kind of obsessed by them and in an Olympic hangover.  I planned to write about them throughout the games, but I was too busy watching the events and not getting nearly enough sleep to do any writing.

You see, my very very favorite sport, in ways much more extreme than my love of hockey, is the Sport of the Olympics.  I used a capital S there because to me, the Olympics is the very definition of what a sport should be.  It’s athleticism that rivals no other.  Patriotism.  Pride. Passion. It’s the only time where (for the most part) all differences can be set aside – political, social, and economic  – and the athletes on the field (or ice, or ski slope etc.) are equals.

My master’s degree concentration was in a broad sense, sports communication, but more specifically, the culture of sport. I wrote feminist papers analyzing the language of sport when speaking about women athletes. I wrote a paper about subcultures of sport, and communities of sports fans. I read a lot of great studies and papers on these topics, and continue to be fascinated by them. They have truly impacted the kind of sports fan I am.

So when I watched the most recent Olympics, I saw more than the stories that NBC constructed during their prime time and wins and losses by the American hockey teams.  I saw years of academic study coming to life on my TV.  And everything about the way the Sochi winter games affected me cemented all of the things I feel about being a fan of sports.

I love the community I experienced during the Sochi games. I got angry and ranted on facebook and Twitter with friends about the sexist commentary by Todd Richards during the women’s snowboarding events. I sat in a bar with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and we cheered together for the US men’s  hockey team. I shed a few tears alongside the amazing, strong, fierce women of the American hockey team when they lost in the gold medal game. I shed a few more when I watched the powerful story about the city of Yaroslavl and their loss of the Lokomotiv KHL team to a plane crash a few years ago. But through the tears, and the cheers, and the celebrations, I felt closer to my fellow citizens of this great country, and loved the feeling of pride we shared as we watched our athletes compete.

To me, that is the Olympics. It’s one of the greatest unifying events in our country. And I cried a few times during the closing ceremonies, knowing that the Sochi games were over, but knowing just as every Olympic games I can remember, will be filled with long lasting memories.

In case you were wondering, there are 816 days until the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.  Rumor has it the Winter games could return to one of a number of sites in the USA in 2026, and my best friend and I are planning a trip already.  It’s never too early to prepare, right?

Charlotte Checkers lose a close game in OT to Oklahoma City.

First, a few administrative notes:

  • Holy cow, Queen city! Could today have been a more beautiful day? Blue sky, warm weather, and I get to sit on my patio sipping a beer writing my post-game story while my 11-year old puppy Will Shakespeare rolls in the grass. Life is good.
  • Every four years, February is my favorite month. I can feel, taste and smell (in my dreams, anyway) the Olympic ice. And I’m not just talking about hockey (USA USA USA!).  Curling is possibly my favorite Olympic winter sport, and I am also a huge fan of short track speed skating. And Olympic ski jumping for women this year! It’s a first!!! I can’t wait for those events to begin.
  • Knit your own Team USA hat like the athlete's are wearing in Sochi! (Designed by me, photo credit -  E. Kinsman)

    Knit your own Team USA hat like the athlete’s are wearing in Sochi! (Designed by me, photo credit – E. Kinsman)

    And about the Olympics, do you want your very own Team USA themed hand knit hat? I designed a free pattern that replicates the hat our team wore in the opening ceremonies.  You can download it here.

  • Speaking of February, happy birthday to Chasing Checkers.  According to my hosting site, it celebrated it’s anniversary this week. I can’t believe I’m going into my fourth year here. What a fun and wild ride it’s been.

A giveaway by Charlotte Checkers captain Brett Sutter in front of Mike Murphy resulted in an overtime defeat by the Oklahoma City Barons. They won the game 4-3 in another heated matchup between the two Western division rivals. The one point OT loss by the Checkers ended the team’s three game regulation losing streak.

The first period looked good with a nice goal from Justin Shugg that went over the Baron’s Richard Bachman’s blocker. The steep angle made it a nearly impossible shot to stop.  Shugg, who has appeared pretty regularly on the scoresheet for Charlotte, made his first appearance in the goal column in six games.  He now has six points (3g, 3a) in eight appearances against Oklahoma City.

Brendan Woods, who had family in attendance, had a stellar game. After missing nearly two weeks to an injury in January, this was his first goal in only his fourth game back.  He nearly missed having a Gordie Howe hat trick after a fight with Baron’s tough guy Ben Eager.  Woods ended the night with one goal, one fight, four shots and nine PIMs.

AS0D3361“I guess you can look at the positive and we got one point, but we’d like to have two (points) with the standings being so close,” Woods stated, “These next few games will be crucial.”

Forward lines were moved around, with Chris Terry moving off of the top-scoring line with Zach Boychuk.

Coach Jeff Daniels acknowledged the change was meant to shake things up a bit.  “We were trying to get more balance and more scoring throughout our forward lines. I thought a couple lines were good and a couple were just okay.”

Brody Sutter scored with 37 seconds to go in the game, tying it at three a piece and leading the team to overtime.  The excitement was short lived, as halfway through overtime, a costly giveaway by Brett Sutter led to a goal by the Baron’s Roman Horak.

With a bit of a grin, Woods acknowledged that having family in attendance added to his energy. With his dad an assistant coach in Anaheim, his mom and dad were both able to make it to this afternoon’s game.  “It definitely gives you a little extra jump. I’m sure she was a little nervous with that fight against Ben Eager, but yeah, it was fun.”

The Charlotte Checkers had another sellout this afternoon. It's great to see the arena filled to capacity on a regular basis! (Photo - Jenni Propst)

The Charlotte Checkers had another sellout this afternoon. It’s great to see the arena filled to capacity on a regular basis! (Photo – Jenni Propst)

The Checkers head into the (brief) All-Star break with a few days of rest after a tough travel schedule, and return on Friday for a couple of “home” games in Raleigh. They sit a few points out of a playoff spot, and divisional games will continue to be incredibly important, especially the two against Abbotsford next weekend, who sit atop the West division.

Cindy’s Hope Chest – one of the great groups that will be at the Charlotte Checker’s Pink in the Rink on 2/7

I love grass roots organizations that help people on an intimate level that a larger organization can’t.  My brother is a volunteer coordinator in Madagascar, and I’ve seen the work that organizations like Go Jen Go, Cookies for Cancer and the Charlotte Checkers Charitable Foundation do for the Charlotte Community.  Cindy’s Hope Chest is another great organization, and one Chasing Checkers friend @Laurie_AR is involved with.  Read what she has to say about this great group does, and the fundraiser they will have at this week’s Pink in the Rink!

In 2008 Cindy Summers was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.  Her husband was away on active duty in the military and she was home raising her three young girls so she knows first hand how breast cancer can turn your life upside down.  Cindy remembers what the treatments make your body feel like, she knows the fears and uncertainties that you feel, and she remembers all of the support she had during her fight.   After completing chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and radiation, Cindy knew she wanted to help others who were going through it too and Cindy’s Hope Chest was born.

Cindy’s Hope Chest is different than other organizations because it provides an intimate, more individualized service.  CHC is not funded by any major corporations and relies solely on word of mouth and events like Pink in the Rink with the Checkers  to bring in volunteers and donations.   Living in the same town that CHC is in, I was drawn in the moment I met Cindy.  Her faith, hope and goodness ooze out of her and make you want to be a part of something so special.  Luckily she recognized my love of hockey oozing out of me and gave me the blessing of working with her so closely on such an amazing event.  In spending time with Cindy, I have had the pleasure of getting to know her even better. I sit on the edge of my seat listening to her talk about “her girls” that she helps through CHC and how much she loves each and every one of them. She tells me of their success stories and about those who have passed, and how she still keeps up with all of her girls and their families.

In addition to helping one of her girls financially, Cindy offers services based on where they are in their lives.  She provides child care and rides for women going to treatment.  If they need their grass cut, she sends someone to cut their grass.  If their child needs a ride to practice afterschool, she gets them a ride.  If a woman needs some alone time with her husband, she sends them away.  She finds out what they need and gets it to them.  In addition to these services, Cindy offers counselling, emotional support and gives away wigs, bras and prosthesis free of charge to women who need them.  It’s hard to put a description on what Cindy’s Hope Chest provides because there is no limit to what she would do for one of her girls.

To find out more about Cindy’s Hope Chest for help or to see how to get involved, people can visit cindyshopechest.org or call Cindy at (704) 529-2935. If you are coming to Pink in the Rink on February 7th, please be sure to stop by our table to meet Cindy and to bid on our great raffle prizes which include:
 -Signed pucks from Brody Sutter, Justin Shugg, Matt Marquardt, Mike Murphy, Nic Blanchard, Chris Terry, and John Muse/Michal Jordan.
-Signed puck from Carolina Hurricane Tuomo Ruutu
-Team signed Checkers Mini Stick
-Tickets to a Checkers Game
-Checkers uncut team cards, signed (STH exclusive)
-Signed promotional Bud Ice jersey from Bruins Hall of Famer Johnny Bucyk
RAFFLE TICKETS FOR THESE ITEMS ARE $1 EACH/$10 FOR 15

AND Bobby Sanguinetti’s signed stick- TICKETS ARE $5EACH/5 FOR $25
For information on buying tickets to Pink in the Rink orraffle items, you can contact @Laurie_AR