BY: Ray Schmitt
GREENVILLE, SC – Six different Road Warriors players scored a goal as Greenville beat the Florida Everblades by a 7-4 score at the BI-LO Center on Friday night. The win was Greenville’s second straight and improved its record to 2-3-0.
Greenville was working hard for the early advantage as the Road Warriors out-shot Florida 5-1 over the first three minutes of the opening period. Everblades goalie Pat Nagle withstood the early sure, and allowed for his club to grab the early 1-0 advantage. With Greenville on a power play, Florida rookie Scott Pitt maneuvered his way through the Greenville defense and scored his first pro goal at 8:31 to put the Everblades in the driver’s seat. Greenville didn’t relent, though, and bounced back with a power play goal from Connor Shields. The power play tally was Shields’ first of the season and beat Nagle at 16:55 of the first. Brandon Wong and Cullen Eddy picked up the assists. Nic Riopel made his first home start of the season and turned in nine saves in the first 20 minutes.
A wacky second period saw the Road Warriors and Everblades combine for seven goals with Greenville coming out on top with a one goal lead at 5-4. Sam Klassen’s first goal of the season, on the power play, 46 seconds in gave Greenville its first lead of the night at 2-1. Florida bounced back, though, with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Alex Hutchings at 10:29 then a 5-on-4 power play goal by Mike McKenzie at 11:58. Those goals were answered by three straight from Greenville at 13:36 from Brett Robinson, 15:52 from Kale Kerbashian and 16:12 by Brandon Wong. Wong and Robinson each picked up their first of the season while Kerbashian netted his second. Greenville couldn’t escape the period with its two-goal lead as Rylan Galiardi tucked a shot past Riopel with 2:23 left in the frame. There was also a bit of the rough stuff as T.J. Reynolds fought Florida’s Leigh Salters and Jeremy Gouchie had a scrap with Ryan Donald.
The third period didn’t feature the same fireworks as the second period, but a pair of goals went to the Road Warriors as they were able to pad their lead. Justin Bowers picked up his first of the season by tipping a shot from the point by Jeff Caister past Pat Nagle at 3:26. Then Connolly and Wong combined to set up Robinson for his second goal of the evening with 6:17 gone by in the third. Florida had two power play opportunities on the power play to close the gap, but Riopel and the Road Warriors’ penalty killers closed the door.
Riopel turned in 31 saves in his second consecutive victory. Greenville went 2-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors take on the Florida Everblades at the BI-LO Center on Saturday, October 29 at 2:05 p.m. Bring the kids out and for the safest Trick-or-Treat in the Upstate! Trick-or-treating on the concourse begins at 1:05 p.m. and every child that comes dressed in costume gets in for free with a paying adult. Great group seats are still available for the game. Groups of 10 or more get preferred seating and discounts off of the box office price. Fans can call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to speak to a Road Warriors ticket representative and book their group outing.