AHL Preview: Checkers Host Barons


Twelve points separate the Charlotte Checkers and the Oklahoma City Barons, two teams that face off in the lone AHL game on the schedule for March 4.

• Charlotte: 33-18-2-3, 71 pts / 6-4-0-0 in last ten games — 4th in West
• Oklahoma City: 26-21-2-5, 59 pts / 6-3-0-1 in last ten games — 10th in West

Tonight’s game is the second meeting in as many nights for the teams, coming off a 3-2 Checkers victory on March 3.

Charlotte has won three of its last four games, taking a pair of wins over Abbotsford on February 22 and 23 before dropping a 6-2 decision to Norfolk on March 1.

Left winger Chris Terry leads the Checkers with 44 points on the season; of players still on the Charlotte roster, Terry also leads the team in goals and assists.

Forward Zac Dalpe has 38 points (19-19) in 46 games, while defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani has one goal and 22 assists in 35 games. Forward Nicolas Branchard leads the team with 94 penalty minutes in 47 games.

Justin Peters has appeared in 37 games for the Checkers this season and has a 2.29 GAA and .921 save percentage.

Prior to the loss to Charlotte, the Barons had won their previous two games: both wins over Texas. They defeated the Stars 3-2 on February 26 before coming out on top in a shootout 5-4 on March 2.

Six of the top seven scorers for the Barons are no longer on the team. Leading the way is Jordan Eberle, who had 51 points in 34 games before the NHL lockout ended; next up is Justin Schultz, with 48 points in 34 games.

Center Mark Arcobello leads the team’s current skaters, as he has 15 goals and 32 assists in 52 games. Rookie defenseman Martin Marincin has five goals and 14 assists for 19 points in 49 games, good for second on the team in points. Left winger Dane Byers leads the team with 128 penalty minutes in 49 games.

Yann Danis is the lone veteran goaltender on the Barons’ roster this season, having appeared in 32 games with a 2.99 GAA and .903 save percentage.

Tonight’s game is the eighth and final meeting between the teams this season. Charlotte has won four of the seven meetings to date.

After tonight’s game, the Checkers visit the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday before facing a pair of home games against the Houston Aeros. The Barons face a three-in-three set this weekend, beginning with a pair of home games against Rockford before visiting San Antonio for the first of a two-game roadstand.