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Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte Checkers Drop Fifth Straight, Swept by Rochester

Charlotte Checkers Drop Fifth Straight, Swept by Rochester

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Checkers Saturday night hosted the Rochester American in the second game of a back-to-back in uptown Charlotte. The team was looking to break the skid they were on going into the game. Unfortunately for the Checkers, that was not the case. The Checkers would end up losing in a 4-0 shutout at the hands of the North Division’s Americans.

First Period

The first period Saturday night was much quieter for the Checkers than Friday night. The Checkers were down 3-0 after the first Friday night, although they would go into the intermission scoreless on Saturday. The Americans did outshoot the Checkers nine to eight in the first period. The Checkers, however, did have two powerplay chances, but Rochester killed both off. Both teams went into the first intermission tied at zero.

 

Second Period

Unlike the first period, things got interesting in the second period. The Americans would jump out to a 1-0 lead at the 15:32 mark of the period. Rochester’s Linus Weissbach would break the ice coming out of a media timeout as Brandon Biro would find him open between the faceoff circles, put it in Weissbach’s wheelhouse, and he one-timed the shot home past Alex Lyon to give Rochester the lead.

The goal would be Weissbach’s tenth of the season. Biro got the primary assist on the goal and that was his 16th assist of the season.

The Checkers would get two more powerplay chances in the period but would be blanked on both chances. Going into the third period, the game seemed evenly matched between Charlotte and Rochester. Both teams had 17 shots each after two periods of play. The Checkers seemed to be pushing all game, especially on the powerplay. Although, the third period would get away from Charlotte in this game.

Third Period

Biro would double the Americans’ lead just 55 seconds into the third period. Rochester’s defenseman Peter Tischke received the puck on the left side of the net and had tons of space in the Checkers’ zone. The Checkers looked to be puck watching and they did not see Biro slide down on the opposite side of the net next to Lyon. Tischke cross-creased the puck to Biro who had a wide-open net to tap the puck into the goal. It would be Biro’s seventh goal of the season.

Later on in the period, Tyson Kozak would add another one for Rochester at the 14:29 mark of the period. The American caught Charlotte off guard with a zone-to-zone pass that was taken into the Checkers’ zone by Aleksandr Kisakovwho had a two-on-one opportunity with Kozak. Kisakov sent a cross-zone pass to a wide-open Kozak who slapped home the shot passed Lyon to give the Americans a 3-0 lead. The game at this point had gotten away from the Checkers.

Rochester would add a fourth goal on an empty net opportunity to put the nail in the coffin for the Checkers. When the final horn sounded the Checkers would end up losing the game 4-0. Alex Lyon would be saddled with the loss after saving 24 of 27 shots on goal. The Americans’ goaltender Malcolm Subban ended up stopping all 30 Charlotte Checkers shots in the game.

Notes & Numbers

After the Checkers’ 4-0 loss to the Rochester Americans, they have now lost five straight games. All of these losses are in regulation. Also, Charlotte has lost seven of their last eight games going back to the November 26th game against the Utica Comets. Subban, who played in both games against the Checkers, stopped 75 of 77 shots. Subban stopped 45 in game one, and 30 in game two. He would end up getting the first star in both games. What is more unsatisfying for the Checkers is that in both games, the team went 0-for-11 on the powerplay in the series.

It is understandable that the team is going to struggle with most of their top scorers with the Florida Panthers right now. The Panthers are riddled with injuries, and they have to turn to the Checkers for support in the bottom six and whoever else they need to help. That is the business of the AHL in that the good players will be called up when the NHL club needs help in a variety of ways. Although, it comes down to the guys who are still with the team to play next-man-up hockey. Depth scoring is even more important right now for a Checkers team that is struggling to get wins at the moment.

On the bright side, Cam Morrison has played really well in his first two games with the Checkers. The Aurora, Ontario native played well with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades this season before being called up to Charlotte. In Florida with the Everblades, Morrison notched five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 16 games played. He could be a great addition to a Checkers team who are in need of scoring right now. He is worth keeping an eye on as the season continues for Charlotte.

What’s Next for Charlotte?

December has not fared well for the Checkers, who have one win the month so far. The team has to come together and find a way to start winning games again, or they could fall further down the Atlantic Division with the red-hot Lehigh Valley Phantoms on their tail. The Checkers host the Providence Bruins next Thursday the 22nd, and Friday the 23rd. Those will be huge games for Charlotte if they want to stay relevant in a stacked Atlantic Divison.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2023 season!

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