Charlotte Streaks Into Tie With Columbia

Back-to-back wins over South Carolina on Saturday and Sunday extended Charlotte’s winning streak to three games and moved the Checkers into a first-place tie with Columbia (5-2-1) in the South Division.

Charlotte, which beat South Carolina 7-2 on Sunday in the first home game at the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena, has only one game scheduled this week, Friday at Pensacola. The Checkers played their first five games on the road going 4-0-1.

Defenseman Rory Rawlyk (3g-3a) and Dusty Jamieson (2g-4a) lead the Checkers in scoring with six points in six games. Assigned to the team on Friday, rookie right wing Hugh Jessiman has four points (3g-1a) in his first two games with Charlotte, including his first professional hat trick on Sunday. The 21-year-old Jessiman is under contract to the Checkers’ NHL affiliate, the New York Rangers, who selected him in the first round (12th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Rookie goaltender Jeff Glass is 2-0-1 with a shutout, a goals-against average of 1.91 and a save percentage of .943 in three starts while Bernd Bruckler is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.93 and a save percentage of .870. Glass is tied for the league lead in shutouts and shootout percentage while ranking sixth in goals-against average and fourth in save percentage. Glass, who will turn 20 years old on November 19, is under contract to the Ottawa Senators, who selected him in the third round (89th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Florida won a pair of one-goal games against Augusta, including 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday, to improve to 3-1-0. The Everblades will host South Carolina on Tuesday before heading on the road for the first time on Friday and Saturday to visit Gwinnett (3-1-1). Steve Saviano leads Florida with five assists and seven points while Phil Osaer is 2-1-0 with a goals-against average of 2.92 and a save percentage of .906 and Craig Kowalski is 1-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .958. Saviano is under contract to the Everblades’ AHL affiliate, the Lowell Lock Monsters, while Osaer and Kowalski are under contract to the team’s NHL affiliates, the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes, respectively.