By Don Scott
The Bears outshot the visiting Charlotte Checkers Friday 36-28 but did not have even one shot go completely over the goal line, as Hershey dropped a 3-0 decision on Giant Center ice.
In the opening period, Garrett Pilon came within inches of giving Hershey a 1-0 lead with a shot past Charlotte goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic that hit the post, rolled along the goal line then slid out of the cage to keep the game scoreless.
In the second period, it took the Checkers just 38 seconds into their third power play chance to get the eventual game-winner when Steven Lorentz tipped a shot from Eetu Luostarinen behind Pheonix Copley. Penn State product Casey Bailey, playing in his initial game for Charlotte, also had an assist for his first point.
The Bears unloaded 16 shots at Nedeljkovic in the third period but it was Charlotte that scored twice in the closing minutes. Colin Markison scored a late insurance marker on a rebound at 18:22 to make it 2-0 and Morgan Geekie closed out the scoring with an empty-net tally at 19:48.
It marked the first time since the 2017-18 season the Bears were unable to make the score sheet in consecutive games. Previously, Hershey was on the losing side of back-to-back 3-0 losses on Mar. 10 and 11, 2018, against the Binghamton Devils and Grand Rapids Griffins.
Hershey’s power play misfired again going 0-for-5, while the penalty kill went 3-for-4. The Bears record dropped to 7-6-2-2 in the loss.
The two teams will clash again Saturday on Giant Center ice with a 7 p.m. face-off.