BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors closed out their seven-game road trip last week by winning three of four games against North Division foes. This week, the focus turns back to the South with the Road Warriors hosting a pair of divisional games at the BI-LO Center.
Record: 11-8-0, 22 pts., 4th place South Division
Goals – Jeff Prough/Brendan Connolly: 12
Assists – Justin Bowers: 17
Points – Jeff Prough: 25
+/- – Jeff Prough: +5
PIMs – Brendan Connolly: 58
PPG – Jeff Prough: 7
SHG – Brendan Connolly: 1
Wins – Nic Riopel: 10
GAA – Nic Riopel: 2.91
SVP – Nic Riopel: .911
Previewing the Upcoming Week:
12/8 vs. Gwinnett – 7:35 p.m., Home vs. GWT 0-0-0, Away vs. GWT 1-1-0
The Battle of I-85 comes to Greenville for the first time this season with the Road Warriors welcoming the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday. The Road Warriors and Gladiators last met on October 21 and 22 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Greenville broke its three-game losing streak to open the season with its first victory, a 4-2 triumph, over the Gladiators on Oct. 22. The Road Warriors are 6-3-0 all time against Gwinnett on home ice and have out-scored the Gladiators 37-21. The Gladiators will finish a four-game stretch away from home on Thursday and are 1-0-2 on the trip. The Gladiators have won two of their last five but all three losses were in overtime. Gwinnett will be without leading scorer Joey Haddad, who is serving a four-game suspension, on Thursday.
Previewing the Upcoming Week:
12/9 vs. South Carolina – 7:35 p.m., Home vs. S.C. 3-0-0, Away vs. S.C. 0-1-0
The Battle of the Palmetto State has belonged to the home teams so far this season. The Road Warriors won three straight against the Stingrays, all at the BI-LO Center, in mid-November but Greenville’s first trip to the North Charleston Coliseum on Nov. 27 produced a 4-1 loss. Dating back to the 2010-11 season, the Road Warriors have won five consecutive home games against South Carolina and have held the Stingrays to an average of 1.6 goals per game in those wins. The Stingrays enter play this week in second place in the South Division with a 12-8-1 record, but have lost two straight and six of 10. Friday is the fifth of 16 scheduled meetings between Greenville and South Carolina this season.
12/5/11 – * Off-ice workout at Sportsclub, TBD
* Road Warriors visit Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 1:00 p.m.
“Between the Pipes” radio show at Ford’s Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen, 7:00 p.m.
Road Warriors at UBS Ice on Main, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
12/6/11 – * Practice at the BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors at Roper Mountain Lights, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
12/7/11 – * Practice at the BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
12/8/11 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. Gwinnett, 7:35 p.m.
12/9/11 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. South Carolina, 7:35 p.m.
12/10/11 – Road Warriors at Travelers Rest Christmas Parade, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors at UBS Ice on Main, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
12/11/11 – Off
* Denotes an appearance/event that is not open to the general public. Media members, however, are welcome to attend these events to report on the Road Warriors and their community involvement. Please contact Ray Schmitt at 864-293-2025 or email@example.com to coordinate covering Road Warriors practices or community appearances. The Road Warriors’ schedule is subject to change. It is recommended to contact the Road Warriors to confirm times of certain events, particularly practices.
Road Warriors Broadcast Information
All Greenville Road Warriors games are broadcast live online courtesy of America One. You can listen to every game for free by clicking on the “Listen Live” link located on the Road Warriors’ home page – www.greenvilleroadwarriors.com. You can also visit www.americaone.com to find the Road Warriors internet TV broadcasts. The Road Warriors Pre-Game Show kicks off every broadcast 15 minutes prior to faceoff.
Recapping Last Week:
11/29 at Cincinnati: SOW 4-3
Nic Riopel turned in the third-highest save total of his career, 40, and went 5-for-5 in the shootout to thwart the Cyclones and help the Road Warriors pick up the win last Tuesday. Greenville broke a 1-1 deadlock with second-period goals by Brett Robinson and Kale Kerbashian, but Cincinnati wiped out the two-goal deficit in the third. Goals by Daniel Koger and Kevin Swider prevented Greenville from winning in regulation. The Road Warriors had to survive a late penalty kill in the third and one in overtime to arrive at the shootout. Justin Bowers scored the lone goal in the breakaway competition and, along with Riopel’s five stops, allowed Greenville to grab the extra standings point.
11/30 at Kalamazoo: W 5-2
Two goals 13 seconds apart left Greenville down 2-0 before the first period was even four minutes old last Wednesday. Slowly, but surely, the Road Warriors whittled down the deficit then erupted for three period goals to cruise to the win over Kalamazoo. Jeff Prough’s power play goal at 5:49 of the first broke Kalamazoo’s momentum, and Greenville received another power play strike from Marc-Olivier Vallerand to knot the score in the second. Brendan Connolly netted the game winner 40 seconds into the third and added an empty netter with just over a minute to play. Connor Shields had a big third, as well, with a goal and an assist. Jason Missiaen made 37 saves in earning his first professional victory.
12/2 at Toledo: W 4-2
The Road Warriors rode a dominant 3-for-6 effort on the power play to their third consecutive victory of the week on Friday night. Greenville wiped out Toledo’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads with power play goals by Connor Shields and Marc-Olivier Vallerand, respectively. With the game tied at two going into the third period, Nic Riopel sharpened his game and stopped all 10 shots he saw from the Walleye in the third. Greenville’s Brett Robinson secured the game winner, on the power play, with 9:30 left to play and Vallerand slipped in an empty-net goal for insurance.
12/3 at Cincinnati: L 5-6
Greenville showed plenty of heart as it twice erased two-goal Cyclone leads, but ultimately didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to complete the comeback. Jeff Prough’s power play goal at 6:02 of the first drew Greenville even at 1-1 but the Road Warriors fell behind by a pair as Cincinnati’s Garrett Suter and Chris Reed blasted point shots past Nic Riopel. Lee Baldwin drew Greenville within one shortly before the end of the first and Brett Robinson scored his second goal against his former club just over six minutes into the second and tied the score at three. The Cyclones tacked on a pair in the second to go up 5-3, but Brendan Connolly capitalized on a pair of turnovers to score twice before the third and even the score at five. Despite a pair of power play chances in the third, Greenville could not beat Brian Foster and Anthony Luciani’s marker at 18:36 proved to be the game winner.
* Entering this week’s action, the Road Warriors are 7-4-0 against the South Division this season. This week they begin a stretch where the Road Warriors play seven of nine games against South Division opponents and six of those games are at home. Greenville is 5-1-0 against the South at the BI-LO Center in 2011-12.
* Jeff Prough is nominated for ECHL Player of the Week after netting seven points (2G, 5A) and a pair of power play goals in helping the Road Warriors go 3-1-0 last week. Prough scored his 100th career ECHL goal on Dec. 3 at Cincinnati.
* Forwards Justin Bowers and Jeff Prough have been at the forefront of Greenville’s march to the top of the ECHL’s power play rankings. Bowers leads the league in power play assists with nine and Prough is tied for the league lead with seven power play goals. Bowers has assisted on 41 percent of Greenville’s 22 power play goals and Prough has scored 32 percent of them.
* Greenville is sixth in the ECHL with an average of 18.58 penalty minutes per game. They have, though, the eighth fewest times shorthanded at 87.
* Greenville is one of two teams in the ECHL with three players ranking in the top 20 in points. Jeff Prough (25, t-2nd), Brendan Connolly (21, t-6th), and Justin Bowers (20, t-7th) have been leading the way for Greenville. Colorado is the other team with three players ranking in the top 20.
Thursday, Dec. 8: Road Warriors vs. Gwinnett Gladiators, 7:35 p.m. – Throwback Thursday Presented by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3. Come out to enjoy $2 draught beers, $2 fountain drinks, $2 hot dogs, and $2 pretzels. Also, any college student with a valid ID gets in for just $6.
Friday, Dec. 9: Road Warriors vs. South Carolina Stingrays, 7:35 p.m. – Spinx Family Four Pack. The Spinx Family Four Pack gets you four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips, and four fountain drinks all for just $48!
Friday, Dec. 16: Road Warriors vs. Florida Everblades, 7:35 p.m. – Teddy Bear Toss and Spinx Family Four Pack. Bring a new, or gently used, stuffed animal to the game and throw it onto the ice after the Road Warriors score their first goal! All tossed toys will be donated to charity. The Spinx Family Four Pack gets you four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips, and four fountain drinks all for just $48!
Saturday, Dec. 17: Road Warriors vs. Florida Everblades, 7:35 p.m. – Foothills K-9 Search and Rescue Benefit Night. Follow the link here to purchase tickets to the game from Foothills K-9 Search and Rescue at a discounted rate, and to have a portion of your purchase to towards helping fund the organization.