Checked up: Charlotte wins Calder Cup

They were the AHL’s best team all year, and now the Charlotte Checkers have the trophy to prove it. Tonight’s 5-3* win in Rosemont finished off the Calder Cup Final in five games, bringing Charlotte its first AHL championship. Andrew Poturalski had the first of two empty-netters — Cody Glass scored in between them with 38.1 seconds left, making it interesting — to help put it away, his 12th goal and 23rd point of the postseason, both totals handily leading the league. He was awarded the Jack Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP.

Charlotte won Game 3 and Game 4 at Chicago, putting together four wins in a row. Alex Nedeljkovic was Alex Nedeljkovic — did I ever mention I voted him MVP in the regular season? I mean, the 10-bell stuff? Welp — but picking up Dustin Tokarski from Hartford was huge as well; he went 5-0, playing to a .935 save percentage, letting them rest Nedeljkovic on the second day of back-to-backs and keeping him sharp.

Only two teams** beat Charlotte in its regular-season series this year: Hershey, which won two regulation games and split two beyond regulation with the Checkers; Toronto, which split two in regulation but won two beyond. Only one other team played them even: Bridgeport, 4-4 in eight regulation-time games. Edit: Charlotte was 45-10-5-1 (.786) against everybody else.

Elsewhere, Jack Capuano has a new gig in Ottawa.

After tennis left New Haven, tennis is back in New Haven.

And RIP, Dr. John.

*-Corrected the score, only four months later
**-Providence lost to Charlotte by a point, 10-9, though that was one of those weird season series where, from both teams’ perspective, they were above .500. Charlotte was 3-2 in regulation, and the Bruins were 2-1 in overtime. So to Charlotte, the Checkers were 4-2-2-0, and to Providence, the Bruins were 4-3-1-0.

Michael Fornabaio