BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
GREENVILLE, SC – After three weeks away, the Greenville Road Warriors made a triumphant return to the BI-LO Center with a 3-1 win over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday night. The win improved Greenville to 12-8-0 on the season.
In his first start on home ice since November 5 against Florida, Greenville’s Jason Missiaen had to be dialed in as the Gladiators tested him with 11 shots in the first period. Missiaen met the challenge well, but his counterpart, Jeff Jakaitis matched him save-for-save and the game went to the intermission scoreless. Greenville came the closest to taking the lead when Justin Bowers ripped a shot off of the crossbar roughly a quarter of the way through the first.
Greenville broke the deadlock early in the second period as rookie Kale Kerbashian connected with Lee Baldwin on a cross-ice pass. The Road Warriors‘ defenseman tipped it past Jakaitis for his second goal in as many games and gave Greenville the lead at 3:40. The lead was short-lived, though, because Gwinnett‘s David Strathman tied it at one 54 seconds later. The goal was initially ruled to not have fully crossed the goal line, but after a lengthy conference between the officials Strathman was awarded his second goal of the season. Greenville had a chance to reclaim the lead on a power play with seven minute left in the second, but could not convert and the game headed to the third tied at one.
The Road Warriors put on a defensive clinic in the third period as they limited Gwinnett to just eight shots on goal. Each time he was tested, Missiaen came through with a save and never let Gwinnett move in front. With 9:13 gone by Brendan Connolly took a centering pass and whipped it past Jakaitis for his 13th goal of the season. Assists went to Marc-Olivier Vallerand and T.J. Reynolds. Connor Shields improved his point streak to four games by adding an empty net goal with just over a minute to play.
Missiaen won his second straight start with 31 saves. The Road Warriors were 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home to face the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday, December 9 at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out for the Spinx Family Four-Pack which gets your four tickets, four hot dogs, four chips, and four fountain drinks for just $48! 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.