The Charlotte Checkers return home this week for four final regular-season games at Bojangles’ Coliseum, and they appear headed to one of their most successful seasons at the box office.
Average attendance this season has been 6,411, which is up from last season’s average of 6,179.
The Checkers’ best American Hockey League attendance average was their first season in the league – 2012-13 – when they averaged 6,781 at the Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena). The worst was 2014-15, when the average was 5,822.
The Checkers moved from the uptown area to Bojangles’ Coliseum last season.
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Their current average puts them 11th among the 30 teams in the AHL. The league-leader is San Diego, at 9,192. Right behind are Hershey (9,036, a very strong performance for a small-market team) and Cleveland (9,010).
The Checkers are home Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday this week.
Here’s a summary of where the team stands:
Friday: The Checkers got one important point in the standings in a 4-3 overtime loss to the host Rochester Americans. Charlotte led three times in the game, but the Americans battled back. Rochester scored the winning goal on Colin Blackwell’s breakaway tally just 12 seconds into overtime.
Trevor Carrick, Julien Gauthier and Greg McKegg scored for the Checkers.
Saturday: The Checkers snapped the Syracuse Crunch’s seven-game winning streak, taking a 3-1 triumph in Syracuse. The line of McKegg, Andrew Poturalski and Aleksi Saarela accounted for all the scoring, with McKegg notching two goals and an assist, Poturalski getting three assists, and Saarela scoring a goal and adding two assists.
Backup goalie Jeremy Smith made 27 saves.
The standings: The Checkers remain in the fourth and final AHL Atlantic Division playoff spot, eight points ahead of fifth-place Bridgeport Sound. They trail second-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by four points and third-place Providence by three.
The week ahead: The Checkers entertain first-place Lehigh Valley at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, then are home against the Hershey Bears at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. If the season ended today, the Checkers and Lehigh Valley would be first-round playoff foes.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle