ROAD WARRIORS WEEKLY RELEASE – 12/19 to 12/25/11

Ray SchmittBY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors

GREENVILLE, SC After claiming five of six points from their three games last week, the Greenville Road Warriors enter this week holding down second place in the South Division. They will try to keep their momentum rolling into Christmas against the Reading Royals who come to town for a pair of games this week.

Record: 15-8-1, 31 pts., 2nd place South Division

Leaders:
Goals – Brendan Connolly: 14
Assists – Justin Bowers: 20
Points – Brendan Connolly: 29
+/- – T.J. Reynolds: +11
PIMs – Brendan Connolly: 64
PPG – Jeff Prough: 7
SHG – Brendan Connolly/Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 1
WinsNic Riopel: 11
GAA – Jason Missiaen: 2.27
SVP – Jason Missiaen: ..930

Previewing the Upcoming Week:

12/22 & 12/23 vs. Reading – 7:35 p.m., Home vs. REA 0-2-0, Away vs. REA 0-0-0

After five straight games against South Division rivals, the Road Warriors will welcome the Atlantic Division’s Royals to the BI-LO Center this week for the final two times this season. The Royals have the second-fewest wins in the Eastern Conference (10) but have proven troublesome for the Road Warriors. In visits to Greenville on Oct. 15 and Nov. 4 the Royals came away with 3-2 and 7-3 wins, respectively. Reading struggled through a nine-game winless streak from Nov. 18 to Dec. 8, but since ending that slide has gone 3-1-0 in four games against the Atlantic Division-leading Wheeling Nailers. Reading has also been a successful road team this season with a 7-4-3 record and 48 goals scored in 14 games. The Road Warriors are 2-3-0 all-time against Reading. After this week the Road Warriors have two games left against Reading this season on Feb. 25 and 26 at the Sovereign Center.

Day-by-Day Schedule:

12/19/11 – Off

Rowdy visit to the Sunshine House, 2:00 p.m.

“Between the Pipes” radio show at Ford’s Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen, 7:00 p.m.

12/20/11 – * Off-ice training at Sports Club – TBD

Road Warriors & Rowdy visit Greenville Children’s Museum, 2p.m.

12/21/11 – * Practice at the BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.

12/22/11 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.

Road Warriors vs. Reading, 7:35 p.m.

Post-game Party at Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen, 10:30 p.m.

12/23/11 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.

Road Warriors vs. Reading, 7:35 p.m.

12/24/11 – Off, Merry Christmas

12/25/11 – Off, Merry Christmas

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:

12/16 vs. Florida: W 3-0 

Box Score

As an encore to earning ECHL Goalie of the Week honors for the first time in his career, Jason Missiaen blanked the Florida Everblades for his second straight shutout. He did his best work in the third period when Florida launched 17 shots his way as the Everblades tried to bounce back from a two-goal deficit. The Everblades were aided by three power plays in the third, but with Missiaen’s help the Road Warriors killed them all. Brandon Wong paced the offense with a pair of goals, including an empty netter, while Marc-Olivier Vallerand’s power play strike in the first proved to be the game winner.

12/17 vs. Florida: SOL 3-4

Box Score

The Road Warriors and Everblades played a see-saw affair on Saturday night with the lead changing hands four times to determine the winner. The Road Warriors looked to be in prime position for their second win of the week after Sean Berkstresser’s second goal of the night put Greenville ahead 3-2 with 2:52 remaining in the game. The tide turned, however, when Jyri Niemi was whistled for tripping at 18:36 of the third. Florida pulled goalie Pat Nagle for the extra attacker and Rylan Galiardi scored the tying goal with six seconds left to play. After a scoreless overtime, Nagle denied all seven Road Warriors shooters in the shootout and Kyle Lawson snuck one past Jason Missiaen in the bottom of the seventh to lift Florida to victory. Along with Berkstresser, Jeff Caister had a big game with a pair of assists.

12/18 at South Carolina: OTW 4-3

Box Score

Sunday evening’s game at the North Charleston Coliseum was a case of déjà vu for the Road Warriors and their fans. Greenville surrendered a lead within the final minute of the third period for the second straight game against a divisional rival and had to go to overtime. This night, though, wouldn’t require a shootout as, after killing a South Carolina power play, Greenville defenseman Lee Baldwin picked up a loose puck and raced into the Stingrays’ zone unimpeded. He lifted a wrist shot past goaltender Philipp Grubauer to give Greenville its first win in North Charleston this season. Marc-Olivier Vallerand continued his strong play with two goals and an assist and Francis Meilleur notched his first professional goal in the win.

Quick Hits:

* Jason Missiaen is nominated for ECHL Goalie of the Week after going 1-0-1 for the Road Warriors last week with a shutout, a 1.44 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage. He had a shutout streak of 178:41 that was snapped in Saturday’s shootout loss to Florida.

* Marc-Olivier Vallerand is nominated for ECHL Player of the Week after earning five points (4G, 1A) in three games last week as the Road Warriors went 2-0-1. He has scored eight goals in his last eight games and is second on the Road Warriors with 13 this season.

* Greenville’s nine wins at home are tied with Elmira for the most in the Eastern Conference and are third most in the ECHL behind Alaska (14) and Las Vegas (11). Only Alaska (17), Las Vegas (15), South Carolina (15), and Utah (15) have played more home games than Greenville (14) so far this season.

* The Road Warriors are 0-3-0 against Atlantic Division teams this season but are a combined 15-5-1 against teams from the North and South Divisions.

* Greenville is one of four teams in the ECHL that enters this week with a top-10 offense and top-10 defense. The Road Warriors are seventh on offense at 3.29 goals per game and eighth on defense at 3.13 goals-against per game. The others are Wheeling (3rd offense, 5th defense), Alaska (5th offense, 1st defense), and Las Vegas (8th offense, 3rd defense).

* The Road Warriors collected 1,305 stuffed animals for Toys for Tots at their 2nd-annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 16. Thank you to all fans who tossed their teddy bears in support of a great cause.

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Dec. 22: Road Warriors vs. Reading Royals, 7:35 p.m. – Throwback Thursday Presented by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3/BI-LO Family Fun Section Night. 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. Also, receive up to four tickets for your family in the BI-LO Family Fun Section for free when you show your BI-LO Bonuscard at the box office within two hours of game time. Offer available while supplies last and for details and additional promotional dates visit bilo.com/familyfun.

Friday, Dec. 23: Road Warriors vs. Reading Royals, 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! Children can visit Santa Claus on the concourse and have their picture taken with him!

Tuesday, Dec. 27: Road Warriors vs. South Carolina Stingrays, 7:35 p.m. – 2 For Tuesday. Show your BI-LO BONUSCARD at the Breakaway Honda Box Office at the BI-LO Center and get a ticket FREE with the purchase of an equal value ticket. Stick around after the game for a post-game autograph session with the entire team!

Thursday, Dec. 29: Road Warriors vs. Florida Everblades, 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.

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