The Charlotte Checkers dug themselves out of a two-goal deficit in the second period against Houston but couldnt offset a three-goal outburst by the Aeros in the third. The Checkers fell 5-2 on Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Checkers watched their hopes for a third straight victory slide away when Aeros center Jake Dowell scored twice on goalie John Muse within 5 minutes to avenge Saturdays 2-1 shootout loss to Charlotte.
Goalie Cody Reichard, playing his first full game for the Aeros, turned aside 23 shots to get the win before an announced crowd of 7,975 plus dogs sitting in the stands for the annual Pooch Party.
The Checkers, without top scorer Chris Terry (46 points in 55 games), who was called up to the parent Carolina Hurricanes, could put only 10 forwards on the ice due to callups and injuries. Five forwards were listed as injured.
In addition, forwards Sean Dolan and Luke Pither and defenseman Michal Jordan left the game early with possible injuries, leaving the Checkers with 15 skaters.
The guys battled real hard, coach Jeff Daniels said. Overall, despite the score, I thought the guys gave everything they had out there. Fatigue set in. Playing five games, 10 forwards, caught up to us.
Behind 2-0 in the second, defenseman Rasmus Rissanen hit left wing Matt Marquardt with a pass and Marquardt batted the puck over a sprawling Reichard.
Right wing Brody Sutter tied the game at 2-2 when he tipped in a shot from the point by Rissanen. It was both Marquardt and Sutters first goals as Checkers this season.
I think we played hard and made a few little mistakes that cost us a couple of goals, said captain Brett Sutter, Brody Sutters cousin.
Weve got a lot of new guys playing in a lot of new situations. Its partially a chemistry thing, he said of callups from the Florida Everblades, Charlottes ECHL affiliate. They (Houston) played pretty good in the third and just didnt give us many opportunities.
The Checkers take on Norfolk at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Time Warner Cable, then play South Division leader Texas on Friday and Sunday at the arena.
First Period1, Houston, Rau 9 (Grantham, Connelly), 2:59. 2, Houston, Fontaine 16 (Larsson, Connelly), 10:11 (pp). PenaltiesPetersen, H (interference), 3:23; Rissanen, C (interference), 9:49; Kampfer, H (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:05; McMillan, H (interference), 16:42.
Second Period3, Charlotte, Marquardt 1 (Rissanen, Schmitz), 9:52. 4, Charlotte, Bro. Sutter 1 (Rissanen, Krueger), 16:36. PenaltiesBeca, C (holding), 5:24; Scandella, H (boarding), 14:05.
Third Period5, Houston, Medvec 5 (Scandella, Larsson), 6:02. 6, Houston, Dowell 2 (Petersen, Veilleux), 7:39. 7, Houston, Dowell 3 (Scandella, Petersen), 11:52. PenaltiesVeilleux, H (tripping), 0:02; Rutherford, C (slashing), 0:02; Phillips, H (tripping), 13:45.
Shots on goalHouston 8-8-723. Charlotte 5-8-1225. GoaliesHouston, Reichard 1-0-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Charlotte, Muse 5-3-0 (23-18). Att.7,975 (at Charlotte).