After a strong start to the game that saw them strike first in the second period, the Checkers allowed five unanswered goals in an eventual 5-1 loss in Hershey on Saturday.
Jake Chelios scored the lone goal for the Checkers, who out-shot the Bears 20-9 through two periods. The game marked Charlotte''s first regulation loss of the season when scoring the game's first goal (11-1-1).
Alex Nedeljkovic made 17 saves for Charlotte, which has dropped three of its last four and faces a quick turnaround before Sunday''s 5 p.m. rematch against the Bears.
Chelios'' second goal of the season that came on a blast from the point just past the midway mark of the second period was quickly followed by a strange goal that saw a soft centering attempt go off the skate of a Charlotte player and slowly trickle in behind Nedeljkovic.
Hershey would get one more before the end of the period on the power play to claim their first lead and never looked back, tacking on two more in the third before Charlotte aggressively pulled Nedeljkovic with 7:51 to play in regulation. After Hershey scored into the empty net with 6:01 to play, Nedeljkovic played the remainder of the game.
The Checkers are 1-2-0 against Hershey this season ... Chelios’ goal was his first since Oct. 22 ... The Checkers’ three shots allowed in the first period was one shy of their lowest total of the season. That mark was set in their previous period against Hershey (third period on Dec. 21) ... Andrew Miller picked up an assist to extend his point streak to five games (6a). He has at least one point in 13 of his last 14 games ... Forward Sergey Tolchinsky missed the game due to injury ... Forwards Janne Kuokkanen and Zack Stortini and defenseman Dennis Robertson were healthy extras.
The Checkers play a rematch with the Bears at 5 p.m. Sunday before returning home to begin a six-game home stand with a game against the Toronto Marlies on Friday, Jan. 12.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.