The Hershey Bears and Charlotte Checkers were both 8-2-0-0 over their past 10 games, going into Tuesday’s matchup at Bojangles Coliseum in North Carolina, that ended with the Checkers claiming a 4-1 win.
The loss snapped Hershey’s five-game road winning streak and handed the Bears their first loss away from Giant Center since Nov. 24 in Providence.
Hershey was penalized only twice, but both were called eight seconds apart in the opening stanza to provide Charlotte a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage.
Brian Pinho was sent to the sin bin at 13:00 and goaltender Pheonix Copley was called for high-sticking at 13:08 that was served by Philippe Maillet. On the two-man advantage, Oliwer Kaski fired a shot past Copley at 14:15 to open the scoring.
Kaski scored the eventual game-winning goal 2:16 into the second period to stake the Checkers to a 2-0 lead when he took a drop pass from Janne Kuokkanen and lifted a shot into the top corner.
Hershey’s Eddie Wittchow made it 2-1 with his third goal of the season on a blast from the blue line that beat Charlotte goaltender Anton Forsberg. Brian Pinho and Liam O’Brien picked up the assists.
The Bears earned their lone power-play chance of the night in the third period, but were unable to capitalize on the man advantage opportunity. Charlotte countered minutes later to restore a two-goal edge when David Gust beat Copley top-shelf.
Copley, who had won six straight starts for Hershey, was pulled with over three minutes remaining in favor of the extra attacker and Steven Lorentz hit the vacant net to complete a 4-1 final.
Hershey returns to action Wednesday, to close out the back-to-back meeting in Charlotte.