With control in the series on the line, the Jackals came out and earned two power play opportunities in the first five minutes of the game. With the man-advantage chances Elmira peppered Chris Beckford-Tseu and had a 6-3 shot advantage early on. But Beckford-Tseu was spot on, especially when he made a reaching glove save on R.J. Anderson on the Jackals’ first power play. With the score still deadlocked, A.J. Perry led a 2-on-1 into the Greenville zone, but had his pass intended for Ian McDonald deflected toward the goal by Wes Cunningham. Beckford-Tseu had to reach behind him to gain control and keep the puck beyond the goal line. Moments after the save, a chip off the d-zone wall by Sean Berkstresser sprung Marc-Olivier Vallerand and Chris McKelvie on the rush. Vallerand hit McKelvie in the slot with a crisp pass and McKelvie blasted a wrist shot past Marco Cousineau. The goal at 10:28 was McKelvie’s first of the playoffs.
The Road Warriors were not afforded many opportunities to extend their lead in the second period as they were whistled for four penalties in the frame that left them shorthanded. The most dire situation came at 10:38 when a Brad Cole tripping minor left the Road Warriors down by two men for 42 seconds with Brendan Connolly already in the box. In the two-man advantage, however, Elmira managed just one shot on goal, and the Road Warriors’ one-goal lead remained. Despite their amount of time shorthanded, the Road Warriors out-shot Elmira 13-8 in the second frame. Cousineau, though, was every bit Beckford-Tseu’s equal in that frame and did not allow Greenville to extend its lead.
A much more disciplined effort in the third period kept Greenville out of penalty trouble as the team nursed its slim advantage. Marc-Andre Bourdon’s boarding minor at 14:13 was Elmira’s best chance to net the tying goal. That score would not come, however, and Greenville was given a power play opportunity shortly after Bourdon exited the box. Greenville missed a chance to extend the lead with its sixth power play of the night so the Jackals’ next move was to pull Cousineau for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining. After some fits of pressure in the Greenville end, Sam Klassen collected a loose puck in the slot and from over 100 feet away sent a shot into the open net for the insurance score. The unassisted goal with 26 seconds remaining was Klassen’s second of the playoffs.
Beckford-Tseu posted 18 saves on the night for his second shutout as a Road Warrior. He also blanked Cincinnati 5-0 in his Greenville debut on March 18. Greenville was 0-for-6 on the power play and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors will be hosting another block party prior to Game Four against Elmira tomorrow night. The festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. on the plaza outside of the Charter Business Entrance at the BI-LO Center, and then the game gets underway at 7:35. Group tickets remain available for groups of 10 or more and feature discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Groups can be booked by calling 864-674-PUCK. Individual tickets start as low as $9 and are on sale through the BI-LO Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets.