The goalies took center stage for the second night in a row in Hershey, but it was the Bears who squeaked out a win over Charlotte in Saturday’s matchup.
Anton Forsberg put on a show in the first two periods, but the home side finally broke through on a controversial play late in the middle frame. Forsberg appeared to have the puck under his outstretched leg, but a charging Hershey player jammed his stick under to punch it past the goal line. The goaltender and his coach argued their case but to no avail, and the Bears took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
Forsberg’s stellar play continued throughout regulation, as he finished the night with 35 saves, and a Max McCormick power-play tally midway through the third evened things up for a game seemingly destined for overtime. That wouldn’t happen, however, as Mike Sgarbossa was able to thread home a wrist shot on a Hershey man advantage with under seven to go and push the home team back ahead.
The Checkers’ rally attempt couldn’t gain steam, with the visitors logging just four goals in the third period and 18 throughout regulation, and Hershey escaped from the contest with two points in hand.
Tonight snapped a three-game point streak for the Checkers, their longest this season … It also snapped a five-game winning streak against the Bears, including the playoffs … Anton Forsberg’s 35 saves are a season-high for him … The 18 shots on goals were the fewest by the Checkers this season … Max McCormick extended his point streak to three games … Clark Bishop marked an assist for the second straight game … The Checkers had killed 24 consecutive penalties until Hershey’s game-winning goal in the third period … Stelio Mattheos missed the game due to injury … Anthony Louis, Brian Gibbons, Cedric Lacroix, Kyle Wood and Derek Sheppard were healthy extras
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.