KILPATRICK EXTENDS STREAK TO 7 GAMES
Greenville, SC – The Road Warriors dropped their first home loss in the last six games at the BI-LO Center on Sunday to the Elmira Jackals 6-5. The Jackals scored two late short-handed goals to drop Greenville’s overall record 37-21-3, despite five different Road Warriors registering multi-point games.
Greenville used a three-goal burst, including two power-play goals, in a four-minute span to take control of the first period. Marc Andre-Bourdon initially brought the crowd to their feet, dropping the gloves with Elmira’s Chris Affinati, but Road Warriors defenseman Wes Cunningham stole the spotlight for the remainder of the period. Elmira’s Michael Dubuc set up the initial opportunity with a hooking penalty that gave Greenville their first extra- man advantage of the game. Marc Olivier-Vallerand redirected an initial shot from the point by Cunningham to beat Elmira’s Garrett Zemlak for the first goal of the game. Vallerand’s goal was his 23rd of the season leads the team overall. Cunningham and Justin Bowers picked up assists on the play. Cunningham set up the second goal less than two minutes later, feeding Jimmy Kilpatrick, who then blasted a shot past Zemlak for his 14th goal of the season. Kilpatrick’s goal extended his current scoring streak to seven games (3G, 4A). Cunningham and Matt Schepke recorded assists on the goal. Cunningham, not to be outdone in the goal-scoring department, picked up his sixth goal of the season just over a minute later when he beat Zemlak top shelf, stick side. Brendan Connolly and Vallerand notched assists on the play. Greenville’s Nic Riopel shut down Elmira’s top-ranked scoring offense, as he stopped all 11 shots faced. The Road Warriors outshot the Jackals 14-11 and went a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play.
Greenville’s second-ranked defense took control for most of the period, but Elmira managed to capitalize off of Brendan Connolly’s slashing penalty with just under six minutes left. Yannick Tifu lit the lamp with a power play goal, his 20th of the season. R.J. Anderson and Justin Donati recorded assists on the goal. Greenville’s defense broke down at the end of the second period and gave up a late goal to Elmira’s Dale Mahovsky to shrink the Road Warriors lead to one goal. Mahovsky snapped the rebound off Riopel’s pads into the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Donati and Anderson each recorded their second assist of the game. Greenville was outshot 12-8 by Elmira and was 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Elmira continued to feed off the momentum shift that occurred in the previous period. Tifu picked up his second goal of the game two minutes in and evened the score at 3-3. Anderson picked up his third assist of the game. Greenville regained the lead shortly after on Matt Schepke’s third goal of season. Schepke was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of an open net after Zemlak was unable to recover from the initial scoring chance. Vallerand and Bowers recorded assists on the play. Elmira quickly scored again to tie the game for the second time in the period on Dubuc’s 21st goal of the season. Anderson picked up his fourth assist of the night on the goal. Greenville scored their third power play goal of the night at 7:35 to retake the lead at 5-4. Shane Harper accepted a beautiful feed from Connolly, snapped it low along the ice to Zemlak for his 16th goal of the season. Connolly and Trevor Glass notched assists on the goal. Greenville received a power play chance at 15:38, but that opportunity slipped by to the way side as Elmira scored two shorthanded goals on the Road Warriors power play. Donati and Tifu scored back-to-back to give the Jackals a one goal lead at 6-5 and control of the game. Greenville pulled Riopel for the extra attacker, but was unable to produce a game-tying goal despite a flurry of opportunities.
Nic Riopel stopped 22 of 28 shots, ending his four-game win streak. The Road Warriors ended the night going 3-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Greenville outshot Elmira 30-28.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors will return to home ice at the BI-LO Center on Thursday, March 17 to battle the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:05 p.m. Thursday’s game will be the first of three-game stretch against the Cyclones. Come out and support the Road Warriors by sporting your green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as the players will be wearing specialty green jerseys all weekend. The jerseys will be auctioned off immediately after Saturday’s game. Thursday night’s game is also Carolina Ale House Dollar Drink Night and will feature $1.oo Selected Draft Beers and Fountain Sodas. You can also head to Carolina Ale House after the game and enjoy $1.oo selected drafts all night long! Tickets are still available and groups of 10 or more qualify for discounts off of the box office price, preferred seating based on availability, and other great benefits. Call 864-674-PUCK to speak to a Road Warriors group sales representative.