Gameday: Charlotte at Rockford, and post-game notes from Grand Rapids

Charlotte at Grand Rapids – Checkers win 2-1

  • Official gamesheet is here.
  • Special teams were MUCH better, but the Checkers also did a good job staying out of the penalty box. The Checkers had two power play opportunities, and scored on one of them with Justin Faulk’s second period goal.  Their penalty kill unit was also successful, killing seven minutes of penalties that left the Checkers shorthanded.
  • The five-minute charging penalty on Chris Terry seemed pretty out of line.  It was an ugly play :16 seconds before the end of the second period, but the Griffins player who sent Terry even harder into the goaltender with a legal check from behind was equally responsible.  To call a charge, which indicates an INTENTIONAL hit is just absurd. What was even more asinine, for lack of a better word, was that during intermission, the officials decided to give Terry an additional game misconduct, so he didn’t return for the remainder of the game.
  • Justin Peters was fantastic in his first game back from injury.  Early on, he seemed a bit shaky and his rebound control was lacking, but after the first period, he found his footing and had a fantastic game.  It was a huge relief to see him bounce back after being out for over two weeks.
  • Jared Staal impressed me last night.  By no means was he a standout in the stats department (0 points, an even +/- rating, and 2 SOG), but he was hustling and skating hard and fast and controlling the puck when he had it.  The Checkers only skated with 11 Forwards (and in the third with Terry out, had only 10), so by default he probably got a bit more ice time, but he used it well.  Maybe all of the games Staal has been able to play lately are finally working out for him and giving him some more confidence on the ice.

Charlotte Checkers (7-4-1-0) at Rockford IceHogs (4-5-0-0)

  • Tonight marks the first of eight matchups with Rockford, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • For more on the Ice Hogs, here’s the summer preview interview I did with Third Man In.
  • The IceHogs have a bunch of guys on twitter:  Alec Richards, Brandon Segal, Chris DiDomenico and Jimmy Hayes (a former teammate of John Muse)
  • Kyle Beach, a first-round draft pick (No. 11 in 2008) may miss the game tonight for Rockford.  While he is still listed on the active roster, he sustained a significant upper body injury during a fight last weekend.  Beach, a left wing, has six points this year (3G, 3A) and 18 PIM.  You can see the fight here.
  • DEFENSEMEN  Brian Connelly leads the IceHogs in points with 10 (1G, 9A).
  • Brandon Segal, a center, has the most goals with five.
  • While the Checkers have been playing 3-in-3’s the past two weekend, the Rockford IceHogs should be well rested.  They haven’t played since October 29, a loss at home against Peoria.  Their only win in the past five games was on October 28, last Friday, at Peoria.
  • If you forget to type the G in IceHogs, you end up with a very unfortunate type-o.
  • The next two Checkers home games (which seem SO FAR AWAY on November 18 and 20) are against Rockford.

Gametime:  6:05 p.m. EST

Charlotte Radio:  WBCN 1660 AM

Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Rockford Twitter: @goIceHogs

Referees: Jean Hebert (#43), Jarrod Ragusin (#42)
Linesmen: Aaron Mills (#23), Al Stensland (#98)

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