ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat were defeated 5-1 by the Charlotte Checkers (AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes) in the first of two games in two nights at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre (AESC).
The Heat took the lead in the first period with Greg Nemisz’s first goal of the season, but the Checkers scored five unanswered goals to earn their second win against the Heat this season. Blair Jones had a team-high four shots in his Heat debut, while Brett Sutter and Zac Dalpe each recorded four points for the Checkers.
Nemisz opened the scoring at 6:06 of the first period. The goal was assisted by Roman Horak and Carter Bancks.
The Checkers tied the game on a power play goal by Sutter, assisted by Zac Dalpe. The Charlotte goal came at the 12:31 mark and the game remained tied at one after 20 minutes of play.
The visitors took the lead at 12:22 of the second period when Dalpe converted a pass from Sutter while short-handed. The Checkers led 2-1 after 40 minutes despite being outshot 19-10 by the Heat.
Dalpe put the Checkers up 3-1 in the third period with his second short-handed goal of the night. Sutter drew an assist on the goal. Dalpe and Sutter recorded their fourth points of the night with assists on the fourth Checkers goal.
Barry Brust made 16 saves on 21 shots as the Heat outshot the Checkers by a 29-21 margin. The loss was just the fourth on home ice for Barry Brust this season.
The Heat did not score on seven power play opportunities, while the penalty kill erased three of four Charlotte man-advantages.
The Heat and Checkers will close their four-game season series tomorrow night. The contest will feature a ceremonial puck-drop from Canadian war hero Master Corporal (retired) Paul Franklin, co-founder of the Heroes Hockey Challenge. Puck drop is 7:00 PM PST at the AESC.