THE BATTLE FOR THE LAND OF WKRP

Greenville Road WarriorsGREENVILLE, SC – Greenville and Cincinnati have never met in an ECHL game and the cities are separated by 417 miles. Despite those facts, the two teams share some close ties and tonight they will share the same sheet of ice at US Bank Arena with a 7:30 p.m. faceoff scheduled.

RECAPPING THE ACTION:

2/22/11 – GRW 7 – GWT 1

The Road Warriors did not let a 1-0 first-period deficit deter them on Tuesday night and stormed their way to a big win over division rival Gwinnett. The Gladiators went up on Pat Galivan’s 10th goal of the season 12:54 into the first period, but that was the only time Gwinnett beat goalie Cameron Talbot in his Road Warriors debut. Greenville’s four-goal eruption in the second period provided a nice cushion heading into the third frame. Brandon Wong‘s 18th of the season tied the game 1:29 into the second and Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored what turned out to be the game winner at 11:31. Brad Cole stretched the lead to two just 30 seconds later while Wes Cunningham capped the period’s scoring at 15:59. In the third, insurance scores came from Shane Harper, Vallerand, and Sean Berkstresser. Wong added three assists to his goal and tied a team record with four points on the night. Talbot registered 25 saves and picked up his first ECHL win.

2/23/11 – CIN 4 – KAL 3 (SO)

The Cyclones had been trading wins and losses over their last four games and that pattern continued on Wednesday night with a shootout win over Kalamazoo. Cincinnati was faced with deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 thanks to Kalamazoo scoring first in each the first and second periods. But former South Carolina Stingray Dan Eves tied the score at one with 7:27 left to play in the first and Carl Hudson evened the score at two just past halfway through the second. Another former Stingray, Samson Mahbod, put the Cyclones ahead with 1:23 left in the second but Cincy couldn’t hang on to the lead. Andrew Fournier’s 29th of the season with 4:03 left in regulation sent the game to overtime. In the extra session neither team scored despite two shots each so the shootout was next. Darryl Lloyd scored for Kalamazoo, but that wasn’t enough thanks to goals by Cincinnati’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Paul McIlveen, and Mathieu Aubin.

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR TONIGHT:

Just over nine months ago Road Warriors head coach Dean Stork and forward Jimmy Kilpatrick were lifting the Kelly Cup in celebration on the same ice that they will play on tonight. It was the second championship in three seasons for the Cyclones; both of which Stork was a part of and first as a pro for Kilpatrick. Tonight is their first trip back to US Bank Arena since that game. After four years as an assistant coach with the Cyclones, Stork is making his way through his rookie season as a head coach with Greenville and was selected as an all-star coach back in December. Kilpatrick currently rates third on the Road Warriors with 40 points and had 104 points (39G, 65A) in 89 games with the Cyclones. It is also the first game back for former Cyclones Mark Voakes (24 games, 8G, 7A in 09-10) and Chris Clackson (27 games, 5G, 8A in 10-11). Clackson was acquired by the Road Warriors in a trade earlier this month that sent Paul McIlveen to the Cyclones.

In each of his first two seasons Wes Cunningham led Elmira Jackals defensemen in scoring with 38 and 45 points, respectively. This season the third-year pro got off to a bit of a slow start but has picked it up in February. This month Cunningham has 10 points (3G, 7A) in 11 games which is almost double his production from October through January – 14 points (1G, 13A).Cunningham is tied w/Mark Voakes for second most points on the team this month.

– On Tuesday night Brandon Wong tied a team record with four points (1G, 3A) in the 7-1 win vs. Gwinnett.

– Greenville has the top-rated defense in the Eastern Conference at 2.75 goals-against per game (151 goals against in 55 games).

– The Road Warriors’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 23 points. That is any combination of the Road Warriors gaining and teams below them losing points.

– Greenville is the only team in the league with four rookies (Vallerand, Wong, Harper, and Parlett) in the top 20 in league rookie scoring.

– The Road Warriors’ 15 road wins are the second most in the ECHL. They are 5-5-0 in their last 10 on the road.

Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors will return home to the BI-LO Center to battle the Trenton Devils on Friday, March 4 at 7:05 p.m. In conjunction with SHINE 96.7, the Road Warriors will be presenting “Church Night 2011” with a live, post-game performance from recording artists MyCalvary. Tickets for church groups start as low as $7.  The SPINX Friday Family Four-Pack is also available for that game through the BI-LO Center Box Office and gets you four tickets, four hot dogs, four pretzels, four bags of chips, four fountain drinks for $48! For more information on these promotions and more contact a Road Warriors sales representative at 864-674-PUCK.

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