Eastern Conference Preview: Charlotte Checkers
Perhaps the most familiar team the Monsters will face next season are the Charlotte Checkers. The Checkers, who moved to the Eastern Conference prior to the 2017-18 season, are coming off a 46-26-1-3 campaign that resulted in a berth in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in franchise history. Charlotte completed a three-game sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the opening round of the postseason before bowing out in five games to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the second round.
Led by Head Coach Mike Vellucci, the Checkers will visit The Q twice during the 2018-19 season, with the Monsters making two stops of their own to Charlotte’s Bojangles’ Coliseum. The first meeting between the two teams took place on Dec. 4th, 2011, with Charlotte claiming a 4-3 win.
When Charlotte visits Cleveland this season it’ll be a homecoming for goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, who is originally from Parma, OH and played for the AAA Cleveland Barons Bantam team. In 2017-18, Nedeljkovic became 13th goaltender in AHL history to score a goal, when he achieved the feat on March 10th, 2018, in Charlotte against the Hartford Wolfpack.