GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors opened exhibition play at the BI-LO Center with a 3-2 shootout victory over the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night. The Road Warriors are 2-0-0 all-time at home against the Stingrays in the preseason.
The Road Warriors quickly established a lead in the first period when Justin Bowers intercepted a breakout pass from Nick Tabisz and quickly whipped a shot past Darren Machesney. The goal was unassisted and came at the 1:34 mark of the first period. Greenville started rookie goalie Jerry Kuhn in net and he stopped all six shots he faced in the first to make Bowers’ goal stand up.
In the second period Brandon Wong cashed in his first goal of the preseason by lifting a backhand shot past Machesney after his first attempt was denied. Working a 2-on-2 rush with Wong, Ryan Hayes carried the puck in on the right wing and sent a pass to Wong on the doorstep to set up the goal. Less than a minute later, Corey Toy took a five minute boarding major that gave South Carolina a chance to climb back in the game. But Greenville limited the Stingrays to one shot on the advantage and maintained the two-goal lead. Kuhn turned aside all seven shots he faced in the period and Greenville led by two heading into the third.
There things started to wobble as the Road Warriors were guilty of a delay-of-game penalty at the start of the period. They killed that advantage, but went down a man again when Peter Boyd went off for tripping at 2:09. Danick Paquette put a shot past Jason Missiaen, who replaced Kuhn in goal with 4:58 to play in the second, and pulled the ‘Rays within one. Jerry Pollastrone then wiped out Greenville’s advantage by cashing in a rebound after Missiaen stopped the initial shot by David de Kastrozza. With no more scoring in regulation, the game headed to overtime.
The Road Warriors were under siege in the extra session as they were out-shot 5-0, and had to survive a Stingrays power play that began with 2:10 left to play. Despite the barrage, the Road Warriors kept South Carolina at bay and sent the game to a shootout. In the breakaway competition Bowers and Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored on Machesney while Missiaen stopped four of the five shooters he faced to earn the victory.
Kuhn stopped all 13 shots he faced, but did not pick up the decision. Missiaen was 15-for-17 on save opportunities and earned the win. Greenville was 0-for-2 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors open the season at the BI-LO Center on October 14 at 7:35 p.m. against the Wheeling Nailers. Don’t miss a minute of action with the Road Warriors this season! 2011-12 season ticket packages and half-season ticket packages are on sale right now. Fans can call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to speak to a Road Warriors ticket representative. Season tickets start as low as $300 and can be reserved with a deposit of just $100.