HERSHEY, Pa. – Justin Peters stopped all 16 first-period shots and went on to post 29 total saves, and his Charlotte Checkers scored three times in the second period on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
On the very first shot on goal in the game, Charlotte would grab the game’s first tally. Jared Stall would chip the puck out of the Checkers’ zone, sending Victor Rask and Zach Boychuk on a two-on-one rush. Rask held until the bottom of the right circle and then lifted a saucer pass over for Boychuk, who ramped the puck over Philipp Grubauer at the 3:00 mark.
The Bears would earn 1:56 of two-man advantage time shortly afterward and generated four quality chances, but Peters had the answer in an opening period largely dominated by the Bears.
Hershey would find the equalizer after a broken scoring opportunity. Jeff Taffe and Dustin Gazley backed toward the goal crease on a two-on-one chance, and the puck slid behind the net. Taffe was able to rim the puck around the left boards, where Ryan Stoa stepped over the boards on a line change and ripped the puck over Peters’ shoulder at 6:15.
From that point, Charlotte rattled off three unanswered goals to take control of the contest. Brody Sutter would restore the Checkers’ lead when his snap shot got past Grubauer at 8:41.
The other Sutter brother, Brody, would make it 3-1 at 13:22. Then with 1:58 left in the period, a Rask snap shot sailed past the blocker of Grubauer on another odd-man rush.
David Leggio came on in relief of Grubauer at that point, and would stop all 13 shots he faced the rest of the way. But Peters did the same, helping the Checkers to victory.
Grubauer made 15 saves on 19 shots in 38:02 of work, and his record fell to 11-8-1. Peters improved to 2-1-1 with the win.
The Bears’ record drops to 29-20-3-4 on the season.
Hershey and Charlotte will face off again tomorrow, March 2 at a special 4:00 PM start time. The first 3,000 fans through the gates will receive a Capital BlueCross baseball cap.
Tickets for these and all remaining home games are available by calling (717) 508-BEAR, by stopping into the GIANT Center box office or by visiting TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: Hershey D Patrick Wellar played in the 600th game of his professional career, with 309 played in the ECHL and 291 in the AHL… The Bears injury scratches were RW Garrett Mitchell, D Tomas Kundratek and D Cameron Schilling…The healthy scratches were D David Kolomatis, RW Joel Rechlicz and LW Derek Whitmore…Hershey finished the night 0-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.