A feature on Charlotte Checker rookie Andrew Carroll, from the NHL's website:
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
GWINNETT, Ga. - The Charlotte Checkers scored the final four goals to beat the Gwinnett Gladiators 6-4 in an ECHL game Monday afternoon.
Andrew Carroll continued his sizzling scoring with two goals and two assists. He scored the winning goal in a home shootout victory Sunday against Kalamazoo, and has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in the past eight games.
Charlotte (21-13-5) erased deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2. David Marshall and Carroll scored power-play goals four minutes apartin the third period. Carroll poked in a rebound of Tyler Doig’s shot to give the Checkers a 6-4 lead. It was Carroll’s team-leading 18th goal, and his fourth winner (also a team high).
Daniel Tkaczuk’s empty-net goal with eight seconds left clinched it for Charlotte, which has won two games in a row and is on a 3-0-1 streak against Gwinnett.
Doig had a goal and two assists, and Tkaczuk and Matt Schepke had a goal and an assist apiece. Michel Leveille and Tkaczuk extended their scoring streaks to four games.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Charlotte Checkers' 9-4 home victory against Gwinnett on Wednesday was Charlotte's most goals since a 10-3 victory over Wheeling on Oct. 20, 2006.
Nine Checkers scored a goal.
Michel Leveille had a goal and three assists, and Andrew Carroll, Aaron Slattengren, Tyler Doig and Matt Schepke had a goal and two assists apiece.
Kevin Schaeffer, Julien Brouillette, Daniel Tkaczuk and Kenny Roche had a goal for the Checkers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Charlotte's five goals in the second period tied the ECHL season-high for goals in a period.
Charlotte Checkers defenseman T.J. Reynolds, the team enforcer, was suspended four games by the ECHL and fined an undisclosed amount for wildly swinging his stick in a road game Saturday.
While exiting the ice against Kalamazoo after being assessed a misconduct penalty late in the third period, Reynolds raised his stick and motioned it toward spectators, and slammed the stick into the protective overhang.
“It has been clearly communicated to our teams and players that, regardless of the circumstances, any negative interaction or contact with fans, physical or otherwise, will not be tolerated,” ECHL vice president of hockey operations Mike Murray said in a statement. “Fortunately there were no injuries as a result of this incident.”
Reynolds missed Wednesday's home game, and will sit out at Gwinnett (Saturday), against Kalamazoo (Sunday) and at Gwinnett (Monday).
Monday, January 4, 2010
Defenseman Ethan Graham returned to the Charlotte Checkers on Monday after a 16-game stint in the American Hockey League.
Graham, 27, has identical offensive statistics - one goal and three assists - in six games with Charlotte and 16 games with the AHL's Norfolk Admirals.
Charlotte (17-10-4) will host the South Carolina Stingrays at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Charlotte Checkers coach Derek Wilkinson was named to the ECHL All-Star Game. He will co-coach the American Conference squad with South Carolina Stingrays coach Cail MacLean.
The ECHL All-Star Game will be Jan. 20 in Ontario, Calif.
Wilkinson, 35, is in his sixth full season as coach. He began midway through the 2003-04 season, and has become Charlotte's career leader in victories. Wilkinson is 210-171-38 heading into Sunday's home game against Gwinnett.
It will be the first all-star appearance for Wilkinson, who was selected using a combination of win percentage and votes from coaches in the American Conference. The Checkers (16-10-4) are sixth in the ECHL with a .600 winning percentage.
Prior to coaching, Wilkinson played seven professional seasons as a goaltender, including parts of four seasons in the NHL. He was the first goalie selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who picked him in the seventh round (145th overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.
The Charlotte Checkers traded goalie Frank Doyle to the Alaska Aces for future considerations.
Charlotte also lost winger Matt Schepke, who on Thursday was named to the ECHL All-Star Game. Schepke was loaned to the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League.
Schepke, 25, leads Checkers rookies with 17 points (10 goals and seven assists).
Doyle, 29, was 3-2-0 in five games, with a 3.42 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Charlotte Checkers rookie winger Matt Schepke was picked for the ECHL All-Star Game in Ontario, Calif. on Jan. 20.
Schepke, who played at Michigan State, has 10 goals and seven assists on 28 games. His 17 points leads Charlotte rookies, and Schepke is third on the team with a +10 rating.
Schepke is one of 11 rookies on the American Conference all-star squad, and 19 of the 21 players will be making their first ECHL all-star appearance.
“Matt brings great energy and physical play to our team,” Checkers coach Derek Wilkinson said. “Because of that he has managed to put up some goals and has obviously done enough to be voted in by the media and coaches.”
On Nov. 20, Schepke, a native of Warren, Mich. recorded a hat trick, including the winner in a 7-4 victory against Johnstown. He had nine goals and four assists in an 11-game span in November.
The starting lineups are determined in voting by American Conference coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media. Coaches submitted the top prospects from within their conference to determine the final roster, with each of the 12 teams having a representative.
The American Conference starters will be goalie Todd Ford (South Carolina), defensemen J.C. Sawyer (Toledo) and Zach Tarkir (South Carolina), and forwards Justin Donati (Elmira), Ben Gordon (Reading) and Jacob Micflikier (Florida).
The Charlotte Checkers are 16-10-4 at the ECHL's holiday break, and are playing well despite several injuries and players being called up to higher leagues.
Observer staff writer Cliff Mehrtens caught up with coach Derek Wilkinson to discuss the season:
Q: Your team has played well both on the road (7-5-2 record) and at home (9-5-2). What have you liked about the season so far?
Wilkinson: “I think the reason for our success so far, on both the road and home, is our depth. We have a lot of guys injured and called-up, but we have been able to put quality players on the ice every night.”
Q: What do the Checkers need to improve upon?
Wilkinson: “We need to improve on both our power play and penalty kill in the second half in order to get to the playoffs.”
(Note: Charlotte's 16 percent power-play scoring average is 14th among 20 ECHL teams, and the Checkers are 18th in penalty killing, at 80.2 percent).
Q: Comment on the play of Tyler Doig (35 points, fifth in the league) and Michel Leveille (30 points, tied for 12th), who are among the top ECHL scorers.
Wilkinson: “Both Tyler and Michel possess tremendous skill and vision at our level. They are able to see plays develop and have great chemistry. If they stay healthy, I think both will finish in the top five in scoring in our league.”
Q: What about the goaltending situation? You've had several guys (five) in net. Will the rotation settle in the second half?
Wilkinson: “We have solved our goalie issue for now. Both Miika Wiikman (5-1-2, 2.39 goals-againt average, .916 save percentage) and Ryan Munce (5-1-1, 2.80 GAA, .922 save percentage) are No. 1-type goalies. Both will play down the stretch, and we will ride whoever gives us the best chance to win.”
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The ECHL on Wednesday announced the starting lineup and roster of the National Conference team for the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game.
All-stars for the American Conference, which includes the Charlotte Checkers, will be announced Thursday.
The game will be hosted by the Ontario Reign on Jan. 20 at Citizens Business Bank Arena, with the ECHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 19.
There are 11 rookies on the National Conference squad, and 18 of the 21 players are making their first ECHL All-Star appearance.
Fifty-eight players from the All-Star Game who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 33 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
National Conference Starters
G - David Shantz, Victoria (14 gp, 8-2-3, 2 shutouts, 2.35 GAA, .927 save pct.)
D - Robbie Bina, Las Vegas (21 gp, 4g, 14a, 18 pts)
D - David Walker, Ontario (30 gp, 2g, 19a, 21 pts)
F - Greg Hogeboom, Ontario (31 gp, 17g, 11a, 28 pts)
F - Ryan Kinasewich, Utah (22 gp, 20g, 20a, 40 pts)
F - John Lammers, Alaska (17 gp, 15g, 13a, 28 pts)
The starting lineups are determined in voting by National Conference coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members. Coaches also submitted the top prospects from within their conference to determine the final roster with each of the nine teams having a representative.
The host Ontario Reign have two starters with defenseman David Walker and forward Greg Hogeboom as well as rookie forward Peter Lenes and forward Jon Rheault. Walker leads ECHL defensemen with 19 assists and 11 power-play assists is tied for second with 21 points and 11 power-play points in 30 games. It is the second All-Star selection for Hogeboom, who had an assist for the American Conference in its 6-3 win in the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game in Boise, Idaho. Hogeboom leads Ontario with 17 goals and 28 points in 31 games. Lenes is tied for the ECHL rookie lead with two shorthand goals and is tied for second with two shorthand points while he is second on the team with 11 goals and fifth with 18 points in 31 games. Rheault, who is currently on loan to Manchester of the American Hockey League, is third on the team with 10 goals and sixth with 16 points in 15 games.
David Shantz of Victoria is making his first start and second All-Star appearance, having played for the American Conference in the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game. Shantz, who is under contract to Abbotsford of the AHL, is 8-2-3 and leads the ECHL with a save percentage of .927 while his two shutouts are tied for the league lead and his goals-against average of 2.35 is second. Also representing the Salmon Kings will be rookie defenseman Taylor Ellington, who is under contract to the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. Ellington has 11 points (2g-9a) in 22 games.
Ryan Kinasewich of Utah is making his first start and second All-Star appearance, having scored a goal and assisted on the game-winning goal for the National Conference in its 6-2 win in 2005 at Reading, Pa. He leads the ECHL with 20 goals and 20 power-play points while his five game-winning goals and seven power-play goals tie him for the league lead and his 13 power-play assists and 40 points in 22 games are tied for second. Also representing Utah will be rookie defenseman Vic Bartley, who is under contract to and currently called up to Bridgeport of the AHL, and forward AJ Perry. Perry is tied for 11th in the league with 30 points (12g-18a) in 27 games while Bartley has 13 points (2g-11a) in 21 games.
Alaska will be represented by starting forward John Lammers and rookie forward Nick Mazzolini. Lammers is tied for the league lead with seven power-play goals and has 28 points (15g-13a) in 17 games. Mazzolini is tied for fifth among ECHL rookies with 13 goals and is tied for 14th with 21 points in 20 games.
Representing Las Vegas will be starter Robbie Bina, who is tied for fifth among league defensemen with 14 assists and tied for eighth with 18 points in 21 games.
Bakersfield has four selections with rookie goaltender Timo Pielmeier, defenseman Eric Regan and rookie forwards Dan Sexton and MacGregor Sharp, who are all under contract to Anaheim of the National Hockey League. Pielmeier is 12-7-2 with a goals-against average of 2.86 and a save percentage of .890 in 22 games. He is tied for second in wins while ranking third with 1,257 minutes and on Dec. 19, 2009 at Utah became the 10th goaltender in ECHL history to score a goal. Sexton, who is currently playing in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, is tied for the league rookie lead with two shorthand goals and tied for second with two shorthand points. He is tied for fifth among league rookies with 13 goals and is tied for seventh with 26 points despite not playing in the ECHL since Nov. 22. Sharp, who became the first skater to go directly to the NHL from the ECHL when Anaheim called him up on Nov. 19, has 14 points (4g-10a) in 15 games for Bakersfield. He is currently playing in the AHL for San Antonio where he has six points (3g-3a) in nine games. Regan is tied for the lead among ECHL defensemen with five power-play goals while his four game-winning goals are second among defenseman and tied for fifth overall. He is tied for second among league defensemen with nine goals and tied for fifth with 19 points in 30 games.
Idaho has four rookies on the team with goaltender Richard Bachman, defenseman Brendan Milnamow and forwards Evan Barlow and John Swanson. Bachman, who is under contract to the Dallas Stars of the NHL, is 9-3-1 with a shutout and leads the league with a goals-against average of 2.12 while ranking third in save percentage with .917. Barlow is tied for the league rookie lead with seven power-play goals while his 12 power-play points tie him for fourth and his 27 points (12g-15a) in 28 games are tied for fifth. Swanson is tied for 12th among rookies with 22 points (9g-13a) while Milnamow, who is under contract to the Texas Stars of the AHL, has 14 points (2g-12a) in 31 games.
Stockton will be represented by forward Judd Blackwater, who is tied for the league lead with seven power-play goals. He leads the Thunder with 13 goals and is tied for the team lead with 27 points in 29 games.
The game has been available live on the NHL Network the last seven years as well as being broadcast on multiple regional networks. The audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.