VIDEO: Blocker Save from Justin Peters

The Carolina Hurricanes may not be my favorite NHL team, but their farm team, the Charlotte Checkers are my favorite AHL team so anytime I see one of them doing well, I’m happy.

Here’s a helluva save from Justin Peters


10 Things I’m Loving About the Charlotte Checkers

Normally, I would post this on my hockey blog, but I merged all of my writing personalities into one. It just seemed to make sense to me. Why split my writing personalities up? Why not just be me?

So here is me, being The Hockey Maven.

Nov 4, was the Charlotte Checkers home opener and to say I was excited was an understatement. The team was coming into the home opener with a 6-2-1 record. (For those that don’t know hockey, that’s 6 wins, 2 losses, 1 shoot out loss.) They reclaimed the AHL’s top spot with yesterday’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Wolves.

10 Things I’m Loving About the Charlotte Checkers (in no particular order):

1.) Drayson Bowman – continuing his goal streak to seven games. That kid is on fire.
2.) Justin Faulk – I never really paid attention to Faulk, but when Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings (my favorite team in the NHL) says he likes what he sees and wishes he were on the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins team, I look a little harder at him. Yesterday, he stood out as being a future elite defensemen. I was super impressed with his speed and his two assists helped.
3.) Dan Ellis – goals against average 1.91. NHL veteran goalie shining as an AHL goalie and receiving the CCM/AHL Player of the Week award.
4.) Justin Peters – I wasn’t a big fan of Peters last year. I was in fact, not a fan of our goalies, at all last year. As I watch him this season, I feel more confident in his puck stopping skills. You need to be a ninja on the ice as a goalie and you need to be able to see the play that is unfolding in front of you. I think he has turned me into a fan of his.
5.) Jason Shaya – Director of Broadcasting/Voice of the Checkers – I thoroughly enjoy Shaya’s 10 Thoughts each week. Witty, sarcastic, funny, and an inside look at the game. Shaya’s 10 Thoughs on Oct 30th
6.) Bobby Sanguinetti – maybe it’s because he was originally drafted by the New York Rangers (my second favorite teams in the NHL), but I have a hockey soft spot for this kid. I kind of feel like he’s the quiet storm that no one suspects, but when he’s on the ice, players really need to be aware of him. So far, he’s sitting at 6 points (1g, 5a) and 12 PIM. Last year he was at 50 points (10g 40a) and 20 PIM. I think we’ll see him raise the bar for the 2012-13 season.
7.) The Charlotte Checkers charitable work. The work the organization does in the community is truly amazing and them kicking off the home season with 15 Days of Giving is just the start of it all.
8.) Chubby the Mascot – seriously, one of the best mascots out there. Watch the video on why he’s kick ass
9.) Fun promo videos promoting games – the silliness of this home opener promo video is just fab!  It creates excitement from the fans to know their team and the staff of their team seem to be having a good time as well.
10.) Fan interaction – the sport of hockey is only as good as the fans are and hockey fans are dedicated people. The Charlotte Checkers are top notch in fan interaction. As a fan of the sport and team and as someone who gets to work with them, what the organization does for it’s fan and the customer service is really beyond anything I have experienced before.

Behind the Scenes at the Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte Checkers took on the Norfolk Admirals at Time Warner Cable Arena. Brett Sutter of the Charlotte Checkers came out of the gate with a goal 12 seconds into the 1st period but the Checkers failed to skate away with the victory after falling to the Admirals 4 to 2.
During the 2nd period of the game, I (Rock Goddess & Hockey Maven) followed Wilson, the Charlotte Checkers Chief Fan Rouser, around the arena for a little behind the scenes view of what he does besides getting the fans to yell “LET’S GO CHECKERS!”

I now know how Wilson and the Checkmates keep their girlish figures. They’re busting the ass to get to one side of the arena and back with only a few minutes of “go time” and then it’s up a flight of stairs and down a flight of stairs and then back to the other side of the arena that they just left. As I huffed and puffed to keep up with them, my calves were burning and my lungs felt like they were going to pop. I didn’t expect to be exercising when I went to the game that’s for sure.

Here is what I followed Wilson and the Checkmates for: Met them at the bottom of section 106, walked all the way to the other end of the arena to the Loft Seats near section 114/113. Watch a bit of the game. Down the stairs, up the stairs for air guitar. Watch a little action. Down the stairs and up more stairs for signs of the game. Down the stairs and back to the 106 section for the cool seats of the game and kiss cam. Watch Admirals goalie get injured and walk off the ice. On the ice for Chuck-A-Puck. Off the ice and back to the main entrance for taco eating. Thank Wilson & crew and return to my seats for a nice breather and to watch the 3rd period action.

It was fun but I’ll stick to sitting in the seats and cheering for the team. One, I’m too lazy to hustle and bustle from one end to another and two, I missed a lot of great 2nd period action.

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