Checkers Beat Bears 5-4, Brian Pinho Scores Two Goals

Photo: Charlotte Checkers

The Charlotte Checkers downed the Hershey Bears 5-4 Wednesday night at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a mostly scoreless first frame, the Checkers would score two goals in the final three minutes of the opening stanza for a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Garrett Pilon would close the gap to a goal just 1:13 into the middle frame, but the Checkers would answer with a goal midway through the period, add a 4th goal later in the period and a fifth goal just before the end of the period for a 5-1 lead at the second intermission. The Bears would get goals from Brian Pinho, Eddie Whittchow and Brian Pinho in the third period to make it 5-4, and that would be the final. The loss drops the Bears record to 23-13-2-3 (51 points) on the season. The Bears remain just two points behind first place Hartford, with the two teams colliding this Saturday in Hershey.

Vitek Vanecek (12-6-1-1, 2.30 GAA, .911 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Alex Nedeljkovic (10-8-1-3, 2.38 GAA, .909 sv%) got the start in goal for the Checkers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Mike Sgarbossa (lower-body injury, day-to-day), Joe Snively (upper-body injury, week-to-week), Steve Whitney (upper body injury, week-to-week), Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs were the injury scratches. Riley Sutter, Erik Burgdoerfer and Kody Clark were the healthy scratches. (Djoos was re-assigned from Washington earlier in the day.)

The Checkers would notch two goals in the last three minutes of the first frame. First Jake Bean (6) would dent the twine at 17:19 of the first frame.

The David Gust would pot the Checkers second tally with 21 seconds remaining in the opening stanza, to give the Checkers a 2-0 lead. Shane Gersich would leave the back door open for the score.

The first period would end with Charlotte leading 2-0. The Checkers led in shots 10-8 in the first frame.  There were no penalties called in the first frame.

The Bears would close the gap with a goal from Garett Pilon (9) just 1:13 into the middle frame. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (6) and Liam O’Brien (12) had the helpers.

The Bears would go to the power play 6:35 into the middle frame, but it would be the Checkers that had the prime scoring chances. Vitek Vanecek came up big, stopping two clean Checkers breakaway chances, keeping the score at 2-1.

The Checkers would extend their lead to 3-1 with a goal from the left point that was finished at the net front by Steven Lorentz at 10:35 of the second period.

The Checkers would add a power play goal from Oliwer Kaski at 12:09 of the second period, to make it 4-1.

The Bears Tyler Lewington and the Checkers Max McCormick would drop the gloves with 7:02 left in the second period.

The Checkers would add a goal from Steven Lorentz at 18:14 of the second period, making it 5-1, Charlotte.

The Bears would score their second goal of the game with a tally from Brian Pinho (10) at 11:51 of the final frame. Phil Maillet (12) and Martin Fehervary (10) had the assists.

Eddie Whittchow would score moments later to make it 5-3. Colby Williams (4) and Phil Maillet (13) had the helpers.

Brian Pinho (11) would score his second goal of the period to make it 5-4 at 16:57 of the final frame. Matt Moulson (14) and Phil Maillet (14) had the assists.

The Bears came very close to scoring the equalizer in 6-on-5 play in the last minute of play, but ultimately couldn’t score the tying tally.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 4,426
  • Charlotte led in shots 32-29.
  • Brian Pinho led the Bears in shots with 5.
  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 of 32 for a .843 game save percentage.
  • Charlotte was 1 for 4 and the Bears 0 for 1 on the power play.
  • Phil Maillet had an assist on all three of the Bears third period goals.



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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1 Response to Checkers Beat Bears 5-4, Brian Pinho Scores Two Goals

  1. Pingback: Brian Pinho, Garrett Pilon And Beck Malenstyn Continue To Heat Up: Week 18 Prospect Report | NoVa Caps

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