Two of the state’s four professional teams remain unbeaten, keeping long winning streaks alive. The others suffered just one loss over the past seven days. We dig our skate in first with..
A brutal week on paper turned into a good week in the standings. Carolina went 3-1 in their four games, dropping a difficult 3-1 decision to Tampa Bay, after leading 1-0 throughout much of it. Carolina also picked up key wins against two teams they are chasing in the standings (NY Islanders and Buffalo), and a win over a very good Nashville team on Sunday. Picking up six of a possible eight points against that schedule is impressive, and solid.
Sebastian Aho, for starters. The Hurricanes All-Star game representative picked up five goals and one assist over the week, but Micheal Ferland (1G, 5A), Teuvo Teravainen (4A), and Justin Williams (4G) cannot be overlooked. The pre-season notion of goal scoring not being a problem for this team is coming to light, after some struggles to find the net earlier this season.
The Hurricanes have three games on the schedule this week, the last of which is the start of a three-game western trip. The timing is excellent for Aho, as he can enjoy a shorter flight to the All Star weekend in San Jose, CA.
Tues. @ NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Fri. Vs. Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. @ Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
A light week of games for the top team in the AHL, Charlotte played twice, and split their weekend set with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Friday night belonged to the visitors 5-1, while the Checkers picked up a 5-3 win Saturday night.
Nicolas Roy and Julien Gauthier each notched three points over the weekend, Roy with a pair of goals and assist, Gauthier with a goal and two helpers.
Much busier slate on tap, as the Checkers take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for a pair of games Tuesday and Wednesday. Bridgeport is nine points behind Charlotte in the standings (both division and overall in the league). A big four points on the table in that set. The reigning AHL champion Toronto Marlies visits the Queen City for games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
Tues. v. Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Weds. v. Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Sat. v. Toronto, 6 p.m.
Sun. v. Toronto, 1 p.m.
The SPHL Marksmen played twice, and won twice, sweeping the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs over the weekend, bringing their current win streak to seven. The surge now has Fayetteville in sixth place, three points ahead of Roanoke. They are also three points out of fourth, so the steady climb continues.
Goaltender Nathan Perry was solid in the nets for the Marksmen, stopped 26 of 28 shots in the Friday victory, and then 22 of 22 in posting his first shutout on Saturday.
A carbon copy of last week’s schedule. Roanoke twice, away and then home.
Fri. @ Roanoke, 7:05 p.m.
Sat. v. Roanoke, 6 p.m.
The magic in Winston-Salem continues to cast a spell on the rest of the FHL. The Thunderbirds have now won a mind-bending 15 straight, after sweeping the Danville Dashers in a pair of games last week.
Chase Fallis posted four points over the weekend (2G, 2A), while Peter Cicmanec recorded four helpers in Friday night’s win. Frankie McClendon picked up both wins over the weekend in net.
The Thunderbirds six-game homestand continues with the Watertown Wolves visiting the Fairground Annex for games Friday and Saturday night.
Fri. v. Watertown, 7:35 p.m.
Sat. v. Watertown, 6:00 p.m.