CHARLOTTE, NC – A 5-2 home loss to the Houston Aeros was just the tip of the iceberg for Charlotte the real problem were the crisis brought about by injuries galore. Charlotte lost three key players in the first period, Sean Dolan, Michal Jordan and Luke Pither. Six players were already missing, that left the checkers with only 15 skaters.
Of the 18 players available to Charlotte at the start of the game 10 had been with the ECHL at the beginning of the season. Then during the first period the squad was reduced to 15 with Pither, Dolan and Jordan all in the locker room with injuries.
Houston’s Chad Rau and Justin Fontaine on a power play gave the visitors the lead in the first. Charlotte was up for the fight they came back strongly through goals by Matt Marquardt and Brody Sutter, who scored his first goal of the season. John Muse in the Checkers goal was kept busy during the second period he came up with some strong saves. Muse ended the day with 18 saves while his opposite number Cody Reichard, who was making his AHL starting debut made 23.
The Aeros took command of the game in the third scoring three unanswered goals within a five minute period. Kyle Medvec added number three in the 6th minute followed by two goals from Jake Dowell in the 7th and 11th minutes.
Charlotte is now 5-1-1 on the season against Houston. The Checkers play again on Wednesday night when the Norfolk Admirals are in town. Then on Friday and Sunday two crucial games against top team Texas.