WARRIORS INVADE FLORIDA

Greenville Road WarriorsESTERO, FL The Greenville Road Warriors begin a three-game series against the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena with the opening faceoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The game features the top two teams in the South Division going head to head in Greenville’s fifth game of a seven-game road trip.

RECAPPING THE ACTION:

1/29/11 – GRW 2 – REA 4

The Road Warriors were unable to carry the momentum of the previous night’s win into Saturday night and Reading skated away with the win in the final game of the mini-series. The Royals jumped out with a quick goal by Andrew Sarauer 40 seconds into the game and never looked back from there. Subsequent scores by Chris Blight and Eric Castonguay stretched the lead to 3-0 before the Road Warriors’ offense got on track. Back-to-back strikes by Shane Harper and Marc-Olivier Vallerand nine seconds apart pulled Greenville back within one before the first period expired. Despite 23 shots over the last two periods, Greenville could not beat Reading goalie Michael Hutchinson and an insurance score by Casey Haines early in the third put the game out of reach for the Road Warriors. Dov Grumet-Morris sustained the loss as he made 29 saves in the game.

1/30/11 – FLA 4 – TOL 8

In the final game of a northern swing, the Everblades let a 3-3 game get away from them in the third period and let Toledo coast to an easy victory. After falling behind 3-1 in goalie Shane Owen’s first pro start, Florida got goals from Matt Beca and Francis Lemieux 2:32 apart late in the second period to draw even in the game. In the third the Walleye jumped back in front quickly on goals by Tyler Doig and Kyle Rogers within the first 5:30 of the frame. Rogers’ goal chased Owen from the net and brought Bobby Goepfert off the bench. The ‘Blades responded by netting a Lemieux power play goal at 8:31, but that was all the Florida offense could muster. Goepfert surrendered goals 55 seconds apart to Mike Hedden and Dave Phillips which sealed Florida’s fate. An empty-net goal by Zach Torquato at 18:28 set the final score. Goepfert was 5-for-7 in relief of Owen (L 21-for-26).

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR TONIGHT

Tonight begins the Road Warriors’ second three-game series at Germain Arena and is the fifth game of their season-long seven game road trip. Greenville is 2-2-0 on the trip after a split of two games in Reading last weekend. In the season series between Greenville and Florida the Road Warriors hold a sound advantage with a 7-1-2 record, including 2-0-1 here at Germain Arena. In their last game here, a 3-for-8 effort on the power play propelled the Road Warriors to a 5-2 win over the Everblades. After tonight, just four games remain in the season series between the clubs.

Shane Harper came to the pro ranks after a prolific career with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. He finished last season with a club record 42 goals and set the all-time mark for goals in a career with 100. His goal last game extended his point streak to a career-best 10 games (6G, 7A) which is the third-longest in the ECHL this season and second-longest for the Road Warriors. He has at least one point in 16 of his 20 games.

For much of the first half of the season the Road Warriors found themselves in the upper echelon of the ECHL when it came to the power play. Lately, though, has been a different story. Over their last five games (2-3-0), the Road Warriors are 0-for-18 on the man advantage. They have missed on the last 19 PP chances going back to the Jan. 17 win over Kalamazoo.

Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors will return home from a seven-game road trip on Wednesday, February 9 to take on the South Carolina Stingrays at 7:05 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. The Road Warriors will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with special games and promotions throughout the evening. Group seating remains available for the game and you can call 864-674-PUCK to book your group outing and save off the box office price, receive preferred seating based on availability, and enjoy other great benefits.

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