This week’s two-game series at Bojangles Coliseum between the Charlotte Checkers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms could be a goalkeepers’ nightmare.
Lehigh Valley, the top farm team of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, are the American Hockey League’s top-scoring team. The Checkers are tied for second.
The Checkers, who have won four straight games and earned points in their last seven contests, have climbed to second place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division behind the Providence Bruins.
They are coming off a 7-1 rout of the host Binghamton Devils on Saturday night, with Valentin Zykov and Julien Gauthier each scoring two goals.
The Checkers have 93 goals this season, tied with the Manitoba Moose for the No. 2 spot. Zykov and rookie Warren Foegele are tied for sixth in AHL goals, with 12 apiece. And Andrew Miller’s 23 points are good for a 10th-place tie.
But Lehigh Valley has 95 goals. Left-winger Danick Martel has a league-leading 14 goals. Teammate Greg Carey has 13 goals and is tied for second.
Checkers’ coach Mike Vellucci hoped for an explosive offense this season, and the team has responded by scoring five or more goals in 10 of its 25 games. Charlotte has scored seven goals twice.
Last week’s results
Friday: Charlotte beat host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2-1, getting goals from Miller and Andrew Poturalski. Goalkeeper Jeremy Smith had 22 saves.
Saturday: Sergey Tolchinsky had a goal and three assists, to go with the two-goal performances by Zykov and Gauthier in the 7-1 drubbing of Binghamton.
The week ahead: The Checkers host fourth-place Lehigh Valley for 7 p.m. games Tuesday and Wednesday. They are home Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) against the Laval Rocket, farm team of the Montreal Canadiens.