BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors were defeated 4-1 by the South Carolina Stingrays on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum. The loss dropped Greenville’s record to 8-7-0 on the season.
Despite out-shooting South Carolina 11-8 in the first period, the Road Warriors found themselves trailing 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes. Early in the period, Jyri Niemi was unable to keep the Road Warriors on the attack as a puck bounced past him and led to an odd man rush for South Carolina. Trent Campbell’s initial shot was stopped by Nic Riopel, but Campbell scored his own rebound at 4:48 for the 1-0 lead. Danick Paquette followed at 15:17 by jamming home a rebound as well and closed out the first period scoring.
The Road Warriors received a timely goal from Jeff Caister in the second period to cut South Carolina’s lead in half. Greenville had an abbreviated nine-second power play after Zach Tarkir slashed Marc-Olivier Vallerand while South Carolina was on a power play. Caister’s shot from the point came just as Tarkir was exiting the penalty box and beat a screened Darren Machesney at 11:57. Riopel made nine saves for Greenville in the period to keep the Road Warriors within one heading into the third period.
Greenville registered nine shots on goal in the third period but could never fully get the offense on track due to the Stingrays blocking a number of quality shots. With the Road Warriors unable to beat Machesney, it was Paquette providing some insuarance for the Stingrays with his second goal of the night. With Greenville unable to break out of its zone cleanly, Sean Dolan hit an open Paquette who beat Riopel to the glove side at 8:25. Riopel was pulled for an extra attacker in the final minutes, but Chris Higgins potted an empty-net goal to set the final.
Riopel turned in 24 saves in sustaining his second loss of the season. Greenville was 0-for-1 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home to face the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday, December 8 at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out for the Road Warriors’ Throwback Thursday which features $2 draft beers, fountain drinks, pretzels and hot dogs, and $6 tickets for college students with a valid ID. Throwback Thursdays are sponsored by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3. Don’t forget about great group packages that get you discounts off of the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Fans can call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to speak to a Road Warriors ticket representative and book their group outing.