CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -The energy was vibrant Monday night at Bojangles Coliseum, celebrating the new American Hockey League champions, the Charlotte Checkers.
With hundreds of fans in attendance, play-by-play announcer Jason Shaya called every player and staff member to the stage.
The last person to walk up was Checker captain, Patrick Brown, who was proudly holding their shiny new hardware, the Calder Cup.
This is the first time in history that the Checkers have won a championship, making this moment even more special for fans and the team.
Though Brown explained that it’s not just the championship that means so much, it’s the people too,
“When you win a championship with a group of guys, you become brothers. 10 years, 20 years down the road when we have a reunion, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Nothing is going to change,” Brown said.
When asked about the linchpin of their playoff run, Head Coach Mike Vellucci agreed that the win against Toronto was huge, but more importantly was the resilience of his team.
“We were missing five defensemen at one point, with suspensions and injuries. It takes everybody. We came from behind a lot this year, it’s not ideal as a coach, but it’s something that we did. I was just really proud of them,” Vellucci said.
The celebration ended with a video that captured highlights of all the hard work it took to get to where they are today. Everyone cheered as the champs walked off the stage, with much anticipation for the season to come.