Checkers Drop Bears 7-3, Take 2-0 Series Lead

Photo: Charlotte Checkers

The Charlotte Checkers beat the Hershey Bears 7-3 Saturday night at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. With the win, the Checkers take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The series now shifts to Giant Center in Hershey for games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Tickets can be purchased here.

Ilya Samsonov (2-1-0-0, 1.61 GAA, .945 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Alex Nedeljkovic  (3-1-0-1, , 2.00 GAA, .923 sv%) got the start in goal for the Charlotte Checkers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

O’Brien – Pilon – Barber
Walker – Megna– Whitney
Gersich – McCarthy – Pinho
Malenstyn – Steman – Cherniwchan

Ness– Lewington
Leach – Sproul
Johansen– Hobbs

Scratches:  Mike Sgarbossa and Kris Bindulis (upper body) were the injury scratches. Joe Snively (School), Jusso Ikonen, Tobias Geisser, Colby Williams, Hampus Gustafsson, Steven Spinner and Bobby Nardell0 were the healthy scratches for Game 2. Max Kammerer was placed on unconditional waivers earlier in the week.

The Checkers opened the scoring with a goal from Zach Nastasiuk just 4:43 into the contest. A stick shattered on the Checkers initial shot, which caused an odd flight of the puck, setting up Nastasiuk with an easy finish.

The game began to get very chippy following the Checkers goal. Liam O’Brien and Derek Sheppard would drop the gloves. Sheppard would get a 10-minute misconduct for throwing punches while O’Brien was down on the ice.

The Bears would tie the game with a power play goal from Jayson Megna at 17:05 of the first period. Aaron Ness (1) and Nathan Walker were credited with the helpers.

The first period would conclude with the game tied 1-1. Shots were tied 11-11 for the first frame. The Bears were 1 for 3 and the Checkers 0 for 1 on the power play in the first period.

The Checkers would retake the lead early in the middle frame with a power play goal from Martin Necas at 5:34 of the second period.

The Checkers would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a goal from Morgan Geekie at 9:25 of the middle frame.

The Bears would cut the Checkers lead to one with a tally from Ryan Sproul at 15:51 of the middle frame. Jayson Megna (3) and Steve Whitney (2) were credited with the assists.

The period would end with the Checkers leading 3-2. The Bears outshot the Checkers 11-8 for the second period. The Bears were 1 for 4 and the Checkers 1 for 2 on the power play after two periods.

The Checkers restored their two goal lead with a score from Tomas Jurco at 3:24 of the final frame.

The Checkers would make it 5-2 when Julien Gauthier walked through the Bears defense at 6:57 of the final frame.

The Checkers would add to their lead with a goal from Tomas Jurco at 14:22 of the final period.

Riley Barber would cut the Checkers lead in half with a rocket from the top of the slot 16:32 of the third period.

But the Checkers would restore their four goal lead with a Martin Necas at 17:58 of the final frame, making it 7-3, and that would be the final.


  • Checkers outshoot the Bears 33-27.
  • Attendance: 6,888
  • The AHL box score for the game is here.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Checkers Drop Bears 7-3, Take 2-0 Series Lead

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hurricanes may be sticking around for a while. Charlotte/Carolina has a couple of good looking forwards prospects.

  2. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Both the Caps and Bears should be embarrassed by their miserable showing against North Carolina teams. Hershey has an excuse, breaking in a new coach and with major roster turnover. The Caps can hang their heads in shame for choking away their two-game lead. Head Coach Rierden will likely get a second season at the helm … but many NHL franchises would show him the door after post-season choke. Not good. No redeeming features. 2018-19 just a blown, lost season for the Caps. Two Ovechkin seasons left. If the Caps aren’t tearing up the NHL on 2019 Thanksgiving Day, GM MacLellan will do the right thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s certainly an indicator of the trending directions of both NHL teams and both farm systems.

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