CHARLOTTE - It was just after 9 a.m. on Thursday, and Bojangles' Coliseum was quiet.
Then, signs of life awoke the historical building. Zambonis scraped the ice sheet clean. Players gathered in the hallway for their ritualistic soccer games. Then, skate blades carved into the pristine ice, shots tickled the twine and rang off the post, bodies banged against the glass and whistles blew to signify the beginning of the morning skate.
It was a gameday for the Charlotte Checkers - a playoff gameday, their first since 2013.