Overcoming a three-goal deficit on the road on Tuesday, posting shootout wins at home on Wednesday and Saturday and getting an overtime win on the road on Friday allowed Charlotte to go 4-0-0 last week and move into first place in the American Conference East Division. The Checkers are 10-2-1 to lead the ECHL in wins (10) and points (21), one point and one win ahead of Atlantic City which leads the National Conference North Division with 20 points and nine wins. Bakersfield is 9-1-1 and sits atop the National Conference West Division with 19 points, one point ahead of Idaho (9-4-0) while Gwinnett is 5-3-4 and leads the American Conference South Division with 14 points, one point ahead of Louisiana (6-2-1) and Mississippi (6-6-1).
Charlotte will play three division games this week, hosting Augusta (4-6-1) on Tuesday and Columbia (4-5-3) on Friday before traveling to Pee Dee (7-4-2) on Saturday. The Checkers are 1-0-0 against Augusta and 3-0-0 against Columbia.
After having the best start of their 12-year history going 4-0-0, including three consecutive road wins to open the season, Charlotte is five points ahead of Pee Dee (7-4-2) and six points ahead of South Carolina (7-6-1) in the East Division. The Checkers are 7-1-1 in one-goal games, including a perfect 3-0 record in overtime and a 2-1 record in shootouts.
In his first professional season, goaltender Kelly Guard is 7-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.29 and a save percentage of .920. Under contract to Ottawa of the National Hockey League, the 21-year-old Guard leads the league in overtime wins with two and is tied for second in the league with two shootout wins. Guard is tied for the league lead in shootout percent age with 1.000, stopping all seven shooters faced.
Mike Harder is tied for the league lead in scoring with 18 points and his 12 assists lead the Checkers and are second in the league. Eduard Pershin is second on the team and tied for fourth in the league with 16 points and leads the team with seven goals while ranking third with nine assists. Dan Preston is second on the team with 10 assists and third in scoring with 11 points, tying him for the league lead among defensemen in both assists and scoring.