The Checkers started off the week, losing to Iowa 4-3 on Tuesday (Dec. 15). They would redeem themselves by beating Iowa 3-2 on Thursday (Dec. 17). They also would go on to beat Lake Erie 4-1 on Saturday (Dec. 19), and 4-3 on Sunday (Dec. 20).
Three Stars of the week
Michal Jordan looks like he is ready to come back to the NHL with the way he played this past week for the Checkers. Jordan had three goals, and he looked confident setting up the offense when breaking out of the defensive zone. The Hurricanes are looking for him to play with the kind of confidence he played with early in the week for the Checkers. Daniel Altshuller has started three games for the Checkers this season, and he has three wins. Not one second that he played this past week did he look panicked or that the competition was too much for him. Teams have not had much success trying to contain Derek Ryan. The Checkers team captain had six points in the four games the Checkers played and also had the overtime goal in the Checkers game on Sunday. Ryan is now the second-leading point-getter in the AHL, and he continues to be a shining example for the Checkers younger players.
Brock McGinn had four points this week for the Checkers. McGinn is now firmly back to stuffing the score sheet for the Checkers, but if he keeps playing the way he is now, McGinn will be back in Raleigh soon. Rasmus Rissanen had three points this week and started to look more comfortable on the back line for the Checkers since coming back from the injury he suffered earlier in the season.
Zach Boychuk was just plain invisible on the ice. Boychuk did not put up a single point over the Checkers four games and he was a zero for his plus/minus rating. Boychuk has struggled it seems the majority of the season and despite his play the team is still winning. If he is able to put it together later in the season the Checkers will be a scary to play with the added fire power.
Injury and roster notes
Brendan Woods and Carter Sandlak missed games due to injury. Mike Cornell was a healthy extra all four games, and Ryan Rashid was scratched for three of the games. Michal Jordan was called back up by the Hurricanes from his conditioning stint with the Checkers on Monday (Dec. 21). Drew MacIntyre and Trevor Carrick, will be representing Canada for the Spengler Cup in Switzerland. The tournament will start on Saturday (Dec. 26) and go to Thursday (Dec. 31), so MacIntyre and Carrick will miss two games for the Checkers. Drayson Bowman was released from his tryout contract so he could sign with Dusseldorf of the German league on Monday (Dec. 21).
Forward lines as of now
First line: Brock McGinn-Derek Ryan-Sergey Tolchinsky
Second line: Erik Karlsson-Brody Sutter-Patrick Brown
Third line: Zach Boychuk-T.J. Hensick-Justin Shugg
Fourth line: Kyle Hagel-David Wohlberg
Defensive pairings as of now
First pairing: Rasmus Rissanen-Danny Biega
Second pairing: Jake Chelios-Ryan Murphy
Third pairing: Mike Cornell-Keegan Lowe