BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
Jason Missiaen made 37 saves and the Greenville Road Warriors scored five goals in support for his first professional win against the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night. The 5-2 victory improved Greenville to 10-7-0 on the season.
The Kalamazoo Wings entered Wednesday’s game with the top offense in the ECHL averaging 3.7 goals per game. That offense struck twice to beat Road Warriors goalie Jason Missiaen 21 seconds apart to grab a 2-0 lead. Mike Matczak potted a power play goal with a shot from the point at 3:18 and was followed by Kory Karlander. Greenville regained its composure and Jeff Prough scored his sixth power play goal of the season, 11th overall, at 5:49 to pull the Road Warriors within one. Missiaen was tested with 12 shots in the first and came through with 10 saves.
Greenville operated with extreme efficiency on the power play in the second period and cashed in its only man-advantage opportunity to tie the game at two. Marc-Olivier Vallerand took a pass in the right wing faceoff circle and blistered a slap shot past Riley Gill for his sixth goal of the season. Prough and Bowers earned the helpers. The Road Warriors also thwarted two Kalamazoo power plays in the period to help keep the score tied. Missiaen did his best work in the second with 16 saves.
The Road Warriors, not wanting to leave anything to chance, scored 40 seconds into the third period to grab their first lead of the night. Brendan Connolly finished off a 2-on-1 with Vallerand to pick up his ninth goal of the campaign. The same line struck again at the midway point of the frame with T.J. Reynolds’ point shot creating a rebound that Connor Shields slipped past Gill for his second of the campaign. Kalamazoo pulled Gill for the extra attacker with just over a minute left, but Connolly created a turnover at the point and beat Justin Taylor to the loose puck and hit the empty net to seal the victory.
Missiaen turned in 37 saves in earning his first professional victory. Greenville ended the night 2-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 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.