Game one wrap-up, Game two preview

Official gamesheet can be found here.

Thoughts about the game:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Carolina Hurricanes 0.  The Hurricanes lost badly in Raleigh 5-1, and the Checkers lost in OT 6-5 in Norfolk to Tampa Bay’s AHL club.  It was not a good opening night for Carolina hockey, but at least my hometown team came away with a point!
  • The Checkers lost no time renewing the rivalry with the Admirals.  After meeting them 12 times last year, there is a lot of built-up angst between these two teams, and it was apparent during the penalty-filled match.
  • This is not a photo of the Checkers bench. It's the penalty box. Multiple occasions during the game resulted in 3 or more players in each box.

    The theme of the night was PENALTIES.  As I watched the game, I began to wonder if there was a pizza delivery boy near the boxes or something else that made them particularly desirable for all of the players making their way to the box.  There were 50 minutes worth of MINOR penalties “awarded,” with two five-minute fighting majors as well.

  • Jerome Samson picked up right where he left off last season when he was called up to play for the Hurricanes and didn’t return to Charlotte.  He finished the night with two goals, and a +3 rating.
  • Bobby Sanguinetti looked outstanding, and back to his pre-injury form.  I’m looking forward to great things from this blueliner this year.
  • Shots on goal was a big story of the contest.  Justin Peters faced 44 shots, while Dustin Tokarski faced only 30 against an offensively minded Checkers squad.
  • Charlotte’s special teams were not very special.  The Admirals scored three goals on the Power Play, and a fourth was scored shorthanded, against the Checkers PP unit.  Charlotte had one PP goal in the second period.
  • No Justin-Trick last night, though two Justins racked up assists.  Justin is still my favorite player, even though 2/5 of the Justins aren’t currently Checkers.
  • Jared Staal and Ryan Donald were the healthy scratches of the night.
  • Despite the result of the game, I liked the fire and emotion in the game.  I’m anxious to see how the teams respond tonight, and if that same level of intensity will carry thorough 60 minutes.

Game Two – Charlotte at Norfolk

  • Mike Murphy is expected to make his first start of the season in goal.
  • Currently, Charlotte is in first place in the Midwest division with one point.  Of course, the other four teams haven’t played, but with a win tonight, they can maintain the lead!
Gametime:  7:15 p.m. EST
Charlotte RadioWFNZ 610 AM
Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Norfolk Twitter: @NorfolkAdmirals@BeekerAdmirals
Referee: David Banfield (#44)
Linesman: Mark Hamlett (#81) – Tom George (#61)

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