The Charlotte Checkers’ first meeting of the season against division rival Abbotsford was over before it really began.
The Heat scored four times in the first 13 minutes en route to a 7-1 win on Tuesday. Philippe Cornet scored the lone goal for the Checkers, who fell to 1-2-0 on a four-game road trip that concludes with a rematch in Abbotsford on Wednesday.
Starting goalie John Muse stopped eight of 12 shots before giving way to Mike Murphy, who made 24 saves in his first appearance since he made an early exit from a 7-1 loss to the Texas Stars on Jan. 17. Charlotte had won eight of its past 10 games and three in a row against the Heat entering the game.
The Heat began the onslaught just 4:29 into the game when Josh Jooris one-timed a shot from the slot off the post and behind Muse. The home team’s excellent puck movement was again on display four minutes later, when Michal Jordan’s high clearing attempt on the penalty kill was gloved down at the blue line by Chad Billins, who quickly set in motion a tic-tac-toe passing play that resulted in a goal by Max Reinhardt.
Blair Jones cashed in on a power play with a blast from the left circle to make it 3-0. A complete breakdown occurred on the next shift, with Carter Bancks left alone in front to take a shot and score on his own rebound to make it 4-0 at the 12:59 mark and chase Muse.
Muse’s five-game win streak ended. He had won 12 of his past 14 games prior to Tuesday.
Cornet ended Olivier Roy’s shutout bid on the doorstep with 6:17 remaining. Roy, who was playing just his fifth AHL game of the season and first with the Heat, finished with 25 saves.
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