BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors stretched their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 win over the Toledo Walleye on Thursday night at the BI-LO Center. Greenville’s record now stands at 4-3-0.
In the first period both the Road Warriors and Walleye found shots and scoring opportunities hard to come by. Greenville sent six shots Carter Hutton‘s way while Toledo managed four on Nic Riopel. The difference was Toledo’s Evan Rankin deflecting a shot past Riopel 5:15 into the frame for a 1-0 Toledo advantage. Greenville couldn’t tie the score on its lone power play of the period, and Toledo missed a chance to extend the lead on a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 1:03.
The Road Warriors used a little puck luck and a sniped shot by Jeff Prough to pull even with Toledo in the second period. Prough’s fifth goal of the season was scored unassisted at 6:44 after he caused a turnover at the Greenville blue line and took off in a 2-on-1 with Brendan Connolly. The puck luck came later in the frame when, with Toledo on the power play, David Gilbert hit the stick-side post on Riopel with a wraparound attempt. After hitting the pipe, the puck was rolling into the goal, but Riopel scrambled to cover up and prevented Toledo from taking the lead. Riopel made seven saves in total in the period.
Three third period goals by the Road Warriors provided just enough offense as Toledo mounted a furious rally that nearly tied the game in the waning moments. Brett Robinson gave Greenville its first lead of the night at 34 seconds of the third by banging home a rebound of a Justin Bowers shot. Toled0 evened the score with Gleason Fournier’s first pro goal at 6:20, but Cullen Eddy’s power play score at 10:45 restored Greenville’s one-goal advantage at 3-2. Marc-Olivier Vallerand potted an empty-net score with 1:03 left to play and it turned out to be the game winner because Kyle Rogers shoveled a rebound past Riopel with 18 seconds left. Riopel made a couple of sparkling glove saves in the final five seconds to ensure Toledo didn’t send the game to overtime.
Riopel’s fourth win of the season came on the back of 20 saves. Greenville went 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors take on the Reading Royals at the BI-LO Center on Friday, November 4 at 7:35 p.m. Come out and join the Road Warriors for their Faith and Family Night. Church groups can get tickets starting as low as $6 and the Christian band Pulse will play a free concert on the concourse prior to the game. The Spinx Family Four Pack is also on sale for tomorrow’s game where you can get four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips, and four fountain drinks for just $48. Fans can call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to speak to a Road Warriors ticket representative and book their group outing.