GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors closed out their season-long eight-game home stand with a 3-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays on Tuesday night at the BI-LO Center. The win improved Greenville to 7-5-0 on the season.
Prior to the start of tonight’s game, the Road Warriors had faced more penalty shots (3) than any team in the ECHL. None of those three were converted into goals, but in the first period on Tuesday night, Brendan Connolly made Greenville’s first penalty shot attempt of the season count in a big way. With Greenville killing a penalty, Connolly stole a puck away at the point and took off on a breakaway, but he was tripped from behind by Pierre-Luc O’Briend and never got a shot off. On the penalty shot he was awarded, Connolly roofed a shot glove side past Philipp Grubauer to give Greenville a 1-0 lead at 6:27. Nic Riopel made six saves in the period to keep Greenville ahead going into the break.
The second period was about as rough and tumble as they come as Greenville and South Carolina combined for 20 penalty minutes and multiple scrums and scuffles broke out after the whistle. Riopel kept Greenville’s lead alive when the Stingrays charged out of the gate and out-shot the Road Warriors 8-4 over the first half of the period. But after surviving the initial surge the Road Warriors struck late with Jason Wilson cashing in his first pro goal. After out-battling Derek Keller to get to the front of the net, Wilson beat Grubauer with a deke and a backhand shot along the ice. Justin Bowers and Jeff Prough assisted. Wilson then had to defend himself as Keller charged after him after the goal and each received roughing minors.
Bowers was quick to give Greenville some more insurance at the start of the third period. Jyri Niemi’s shot from the point was tipped by Bowers past Grubauer for his third goal of the season and a 3-0 Greenville lead. Jeff Prough also assisted and registered his sixth multi-point game of the season. Riopel couldn’t quite finish off the shutout as Sean Dolan slipped a shot in with 2:46 to play.
Riopel earned his seventh win of the season with 36 saves. Greenville was 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home to face the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday, December 8 at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out for the Road Warriors’ Throwback Thursday which features $2 draft beers, fountain drinks, pretzels and hot dogs, and $6 tickets for college students with a valid ID. Throwback Thursdays are sponsored by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3. Don’t forget about great group packages that get you discounts off of the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Fans can call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to speak to a Road Warriors ticket representative and book their group outing.