The Charlotte Checkers shutout the Hershey Bears 3-0 on Wednesday in a game that was just 1-0 for 59 minutes. The Checkers potted two empty-net goals in the final minute.
Charlotte goaltender Spencer Knight stopped all 44 shots he faced, to record his second shutout of the season, and handed Hershey its third straight loss on home ice.
The opening period was scoreless and remained that way until 16:35 of the middle stanza when Logan Hutsko beat Hershey netminder Phoenix Copley on a spinning shot from the slot.
In the third period, Hershey outshot the Checkers 17-11, but Knight stood tall, stopping several breakaways, including a shorthanded opportunity by Shane Gersich.
Hershey pulled Copley for an extra attacker in the closing minutes, but the move didn’t work as Owen Tippett hit an empty net with a minute left, then Zac Dalpe, with Copley still on the bench, made it 3-0 with 10 seconds to play.
“I thought Knight was outstanding and Pheonix played extremely well also, and were certainly the one and two stars of the game, with Knight winning the game and Pheonix doing everything within his power to win for his team,” said Hershey head coach Scott Allen. “We’re missing a few game-changers, so with that being said, we have to get not only more pucks to the net, but have to take away the goaltender’s vision, be harder at the net and be more diligent with rebounds.”
Copley (13-8-2) stopped 25 shots in the losing effort. Shots were 44-28 Hershey. The Bears went 0-for-5 on the power play while the penalty kill was a perfect two-for-two.
Hershey is back in action on the road on Friday at the MassMutual Center versus the Springfield Thunderbirds then heads to Hartford on Saturday.
The Bears’ best period continues to be the second, where they have outscored opponents by a combined margin of 53-39. The 39 goals allowed in the second period is the second-lowest total in the AHL, trailing only Abbotsford’s 33.
The Checkers came into the contest with losses in four straight games (0-3-1-0).
Charlotte’s roster includes former Hershey defenseman, and two-time AHL All-Star, Connor Carrick.