Gameday – Charlotte at Houston, Post game from OKC

 Last night in Oklahoma City:

  • If there was an award for best defenseman during the first month of the season, I’d give it to Bobby Sanguinetti.  After suffering a serious injury last year he has finally recovered fully, and is a huge asset to the team.
  • The Checkers had only three minor penalties, one of which was a bogus delay-of-game call on Matt Pistilli.  The Barons, on the other hand, had only one minor.  Neither team was successful on the power play.
  • In a surprise (to me) move, coach Jeff Daniels started Justin Peters in goal, despite claiming it would be an “equal rotation” between Peters and Mike Murphy.  This was Peters first back-to-back start all season, and I’m told was a move to help him get his rhythm back.  While it was a successful exercise considering the Checkers won, it was risky move.  Murphy had played very well against Oklahoma City previously, and held the teams only victory against them.  Fortunately, the Checkers won.
  • Jared Staal has turned a new leaf.  The youngest brother was named the second star last night, and had an assist in Charlotte’s win.  He’s begun to impress me as of late, which is a big deal considering how poorly and little he had played in his previous season with the Checkers.  It was a good night for all of the active Staals… Jordan scored two goals against the Hurricanes, and Eric scored one as well, cementing the 5-3 win over the Penguins in Raleigh.
  • For a guy who was signed for his toughness, Justin Soryal is proving to be more than that!  He scored his second goal last night, and has three points on the season (2G, 1A).  His career high is five goals, from two years ago, and is well on his way to surpassing that.  Playing on a line with Jared Staal seems to be beneficial to both of them.  Soryal’s toughness and physicality is hopefully rubbing off on Staal, and maybe some of the goal scoring genes that are in Staal are rubbing off on Soryal!
  • In case you were wondering, Justin is still my favorite player.

Charlotte Checkers (9-5-1-0) at Houston Aeros (8-3-0-3)

  • Tonight marks the fourth and final meeting of Charlotte and Houston.  After the first three games, the Checkers are 1-2 against Houston.  The lone win came in a shoot out in Charlotte last month.  Each team has 19 points, though Charlotte leads their Midwest Division, and the Aeros are in third in their own.
  • Chris Terry, having served his two-game suspension following a charging call to Grand Rapids goalie Joey MacDonald, will return to the Checkers lineup tonight.
  • Two weeks ago in Houston, the teams had 44 minor PIMs between them during a crazy matchup that had the Checkers lose 5-3 (one was an empty net).  This was the first of only two times Charlotte has lost with a two-goal differential all season.
  • Both teams have two guys tied for the most points with 14.  Charlotte has Jerome Samson (7G, 7A) and Jon Matsumoto (5G, 9A), while Houston has Jon DiSalvatore (5G, 9A) and Jeff Taffe (4G, 10A)
  • Mike Murphy is expected to start in goal tonight.  While he had the past two nights off, a 4:30 a.m. bus call and flight to Houston the morning of the game makes for a challenging day for the starting goalie.
  • While unrelated to tonight’s matchup, Paul Branecky of the Checkers made an interesting observation last night in a tweet.  In last night’s Hurricanes game, Zach Boychuck only had 3:59 of ice time, and Zac Dalpe had 4:31.  Neither of these numbers bodes well with the pending return of Jussi Jokinen to the Hurricanes lineup.
  • Thank goodness, tonight is the ninth and final game of the road trip.  The Checkers return home for eight of their next nine games, including two at home next weekend.

Gametime:  6:05 p.m. EST

Charlotte Radio:  WBCN 1660 AM

Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Houston Twitter: @Houston_Aeros@3rdIntermission
Houston Blog:  The Third Intermission

Gametime:  6:05 p.m. EST

Charlotte Radio:  WBCN 1660 AM

Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Houston Twitter: @Houston_Aeros@3rdIntermission
Houston Blog:  The Third Intermission
Referee: Jarrod Ragusin (#42)
Linesmen: Paul Wilkinson (#73), Carl Sasyn (#12)

One thought on “Gameday – Charlotte at Houston, Post game from OKC

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