Greenville, SC – The Road Warriors used a three-goal second period to take down the Wings on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The win was only Greenville’s second in their last seven games and improves their overall record to 25-12-2 and 8-1 against the North Division.
Greenville put themselves at a disadvantage early in the first period with back-to-back penalties after Trevor Glass got caught hooking and Wes Cunningham was whistled for slashing. Kalamazoo attempted to attack Road Warrior goalie Nic Riopel early, but the defense clamped down shutting down passing lanes and protecting the net. Despite the Wings’ two-man advantage, the Road Warriors fifth-ranked penalty kill unit managed to dispel both penalties and shift the momentum. The K-Wings picked up two penalties within a minute to give the Road Warriors a two-man advantage of their own. The Road Warriors Mark Voakes ended an 11-game goal-scoring drought with a power play goal at 10:27 to give the Road Warriors a 1-0 early lead. Blake Parlett and Jimmy Kilpatrick both recorded assist on the play. The Road Warriors defense began to loosen at the seams near the end of the period and gave up a garbage goal with only 29 seconds left in the period. Andrew Fournier scored his third goal in the last two games after slipping it past Riopel top shelf. Greenville was outshot 11-18 and was 1-for-2 on the power play.
The Road Warriors second ranked scoring offense took control of the second period with three goals on 14 shots to take a commanding lead. Paul McIlveen scored his fourth goal of the season at 2:36 to give the Road Warriors a 2-1 lead. Jacob Lagace assisted on the play. Connor Shields punched in 11th goal of the season beating Kalamazoo’s Ryan Nie after a perfect set up by Lagace for his second assist on the night. The Road Warriors continued to ride the wave of scoring opportunities in the second when Chris McKelvie snuck one past Nie for the Road Warriors final goal of the period to put them ahead 4-1. McKelvie’s fourth goal of the season was set up by Shane Harper and Lagace, who recorded his third assist of the game. Greenville was unable to score on their only power play opportunity during the period, but outshot the Wings 14-8.
Kalamazoo began their comeback effort early in the third with a goal a little over 30 seconds into the third. Patrick Asselin slipped the puck in the back of the net to halve the Road Warriors lead. Justin Taylor and Kory Karlander continue to play well against the Road Warriors both recording assists on the play. Greenville put themselves in a bit of a bind with another two-man disadvantage after penalties by Shields and Wes Cunningham only a minute apart. The K-Wings’ power play units were unable to capitalize just like the first period as the Road Warriors defense took hold and shut them down. The K-Wings comeback effort gained some momentum after Taylor scored with just under four minutes remaining in the game to shrink the lead to one. The Road Warriors defense shut down the Wings’ efforts to send the game into overtime and gave the team a much needed victory and sent the fans home happy.
Riopel picked up his eighth win of the season stopping 41 of 44 shots. Greenville was 1-for-3 on the power play, but only four-for-six on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors are back on home ice Friday, January 21 to battle in-state rival South Carolina. Along with the Greenville Area Mary Kay Independent Sales Force, the Road Warriors will host their inaugural “Pink in the Rink” event. In an effort to raise money and awareness the Road Warriors will wear pink-themed jerseys, which will be auctioned off via a silent auction during the game. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Mary Kay Foundation. If you have a group of 10 or more call the Road Warriors at 864-674-PUCK to book your group and save off the box office price, receive preferred seating based on availability, and enjoy other great benefits.