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Check and mate! Charlotte wins Calder Cup

ROSEMONT, Ill. (theahl.com) … The Charlotte Checkers are bringing the Calder Cup to North Carolina.

The American Hockey League’s top team from start to finish in 2018-19 secured its first championship tonight with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena, winning the Calder Cup Finals four games to one.

Andrew Poturalski, who finished with two goals in Game 5, won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. The third-year pro from Williamsville, N.Y., led the AHL with 12 goals, 23 points and a plus-15 rating in 18 postseason games played.

Rookie Morgan Geekie added a goal and an assist in the clincher and Alex Nedeljkovic turned aside 26 shots as the Checkers secured the first Calder Cup win for the Carolina Hurricanes organization since 1991.

Charlotte went 15-4 during the postseason following a 51-win regular season. Under head coach Mike Vellucci, who also serves as the Hurricanes’ assistant general manager and director of hockey operations, the Checkers finished with the best record in the league during the regular season and then defeated the Providence Bruins (3-1), Hershey Bears (4-0) and Toronto Marlies (4-2) before eliminating Chicago in five games in the Finals.

Charlotte’s victory brings an end to the AHL’s 83rd season. In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

2019 Calder Cup Finals (best-of-7)
A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. C1-Chicago Wolves | Series Infographic
Game 1 – Sat., June 1 – Chicago 4, CHARLOTTE 3 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sun., June 2 – CHARLOTTE 5, Chicago 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., June 5 – Charlotte 4, CHICAGO 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Thu., June 6 – Charlotte 5, CHICAGO 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Sat., June 8 – Charlotte 5, CHICAGO 3