The Checkers pushed hard in their rematch with Hershey but couldn’t quite push their comeback across the finish line, falling 3-2.

The first frame contained most of the fireworks as the two sides traded blows - first was Hershey opening the scoring early on, then Mackie Samoskevich hammered home a feed from Rasmus Asplund to knot things up before the Bears snagged back their lead before the buzzer.

A power-play tally from Hershey in the opening minutes of the second extended the visitors’ lead, and the Bears clung tightly to that advantage until the final minute of the period, when Patrick Giles forced a turnover in the neutral zone and swooped in for a shorthanded tally to pull the Checkers within a goal with 20 minutes to play.

The Checkers controlled much of the play in the third - outshooting Hershey by a staggering 10-1 count - and threw waves of pressure at the visitors all the way until the final buzzer. Unfortunately for them they couldn’t quite find the equalizer, and time ran out on their valiant comeback effort.


Coach Geordie Kinnear on the game
I think we got what we expected at the start. I thought they were more competitive than we were, but you have to go through that to understand what another level was. What I did like is that we settled into it and then I thought we slowly got to our game and really had chances to tie it up. Obviously a big goal by Patty Giles. That’s a good hockey team and that was a good hockey game that we ended up on the short end of the stick. There’s lots to take and learn from it. We talked about it in between periods. It’s a good learning lesson, and move forward.

Kinnear on coming up just short of the tying goal
It's an experienced team and they’ve been in some high-stakes games with a lot of the same guys. Good leadership and coaching. You have to stick with it and learn to get on the inside with a little more traffic probably as the game wore on, but I thought there was a lot of good in the second half of that game. We regained our composure, settled into it and, again, a one-goal hockey game. There’s certain plays throughout the game you want to make sure you’re dialed in to because you never know when that’s going to be the game-winning goal.

Kinnear on playing most of the game without Justin Sourdif
The whole group, the effort. As a coach you couldn’t be more proud of our group. Again, not easy to do to settle into it, but I thought it was a major growth group, especially with a lot of the young guys to settle into it and get back to how we play.


Kinnear did not yet have an update on Sourdif, who left the game in the first period … The Checkers lost in regulation for just the second time in their last 11 outings. Hershey, now 42-11-4, still has not lost consecutive games in regulation this season … Charlotte is now 2-4-0 in the season series against the Bears … Giles has two of the Checkers’ three shorthanded goals this season … The Checkers out-shot Hershey 10-1 in the third period … Checkers scratches included forwards Riley Bezeau, Skyler Brind’Amour, Ryan McAllister and Cam Morrison; defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Mitch Vande Sompel; and goaltenders Mack Guzda and Magnus Hellberg.