What a change of pace from last Saturday’s night in Peoria. It was a different set of goaltenders (this time, Peoria started their back up, Jake Allen, and Charlotte started John Muse). Prior to the puck drop, the Rivermen learned that St. Louis goaltender Jaroslav Halak was injured, and a recall by Ben Bishop was a possibility, and risking him to injury in an AHL game was not worth is, so Allen filled in.
The Checkers were victorious after 60-minutes in Peoria, defeating the Rivermen by a score of 4-2. Justin Shugg and Zach Boychuk had two points each (1G, 1A), and AJ Jenks finished the night with a pair of helpers. The official gamesheet is here.
Last weekend, the first period saw PTO signee and Checkers first-time starter David Caruso face 47 shots, 42 of which he stopped. The first period saw Charlotte put only two shots on goal. Tonight, the Checkers had 12 SOG in the first, had a 3-0 lead at the end of 20 minutes.
The third period was a typical one for Charlotte… they were outshot and outscored, but fortunately, were still able to come out on top.
By allowing two goals by Peoria, and only scoring one of their own in the third, the Checkers increased their third-period negative goal differential. They’ve scored 43 goals during third periods this season, but allowed 56. That is not a statistic to be proud of!
But the good news is, the Checkers won the game, and it was an important two-points against a Rivermen team that has been winning a lot lately, and making steady progress at chipping away at Charlotte’s Midwest division lead.
The Checkers are Chicago bound via a bus tonight, for two more games this weekend against the Wolves. It’s about a three hour drive to Rosemont, where the Wolves play, which is nothing compared to recent three-in-three weekend travel. The next two games are crucial, as the Midwest Division is becoming a tighter one with every game played. Charlotte leads Chicago by four points, but the Wolves are two games back, with 50 games played versus Charlotte’s 52. The next two games are big ones for both clubs.
With that in mind, Let’s Go Checkers!