AOBBOSTFORD, BC – Going into the game Abbotsford Heat had the best defensive record in the AHL but Charlotte found a way to score on them. In the three games so far this season the Checkers have found the net 13 times and lead the series 2-1-0. En route to Friday night’s victory, Charlotte’s Zac Dalpe (2g 2a) and captain Brett Sutter (1g 3a) set career high and tied franchise records with four points apiece. Dalpe became the first Checker to score two shorthanded goals in the same game and three shorthanded in a season.
It was the Heat that went ahead after six minutes when Greg Nemiaz appeared at the back post to slot the puck home. The lead was fairly short lived with Brett Sutter combining with Dalpe to tie the game up in the 12 minute.
In the 12 minute of the second period Dalpe worked his magic once again to put Charlotte ahead. Sutter had drawn two defenders before sliding the puck to Dalpe who beat Heat goalie Barry Brust for his 18th goal of the season.
The third period saw Charlotte turn the screws on the home side. First of all Dalpe scored a minute after the puck had been dropped then M. Beca added goal number four, his first since joining Charlotte from the ECHL. Luke Pither continued his fine run of form scoring the fifth on a close passing move with Justin Shugg and Chris Terry.
Justin Peters in the Checkers goal had another excellent evening making 27 saves while his opposite number Barry Brust made had 16 shots to contend with making 11 saves. Peters who was making his 14th appearance between the pipes in the last 17 games made some important saves early on in the evening. The Heat had started the game strongly keeping Peters on his toes for the first two periods before Charlotte took command.
The two teams resume play tonight with Abbotsford looking to break their winless streak of 0-5-1. While the Checkers look to extend their overall record of 31-17-2-3 to 32 wins.