The Road Warriors jumped out to the 1-0 lead when Marc-Olivier Vallerand, back in the lineup after missing the last two games, fired a wrist shot past Florida goalie Pat Nagle to put the Road Warriors in front just 1:41 into the contest. Greenville had the chance to add to its lead with two consecutive minor penalties to Florida, but failed to score on either power play. Florida would make the Road Warriors pay later in the period on a power play of its own. Florida’s Ryan Galiardi threw the puck in front of the net, and forward Matt Beca fluttered it through the five-hole of Nic Riopel knotting the game at one. The Road Warriors recovered, killing off a final Florida power player, and the teams entered the locker rooms tied at one.
In the second period, it was the Everblades who came out firing early, registering seven of the first nine shots of the period. Less than three minutes in, Florida’s Trevor Bruess broke the deadlock, tapping a pass from Matt Beca past Riopel for the Everblades second goal. Florida extended its lead minutes later, when Mathieu Roy took advantage of a 2-on-1, burying a pass from Lucas Labelle into the back of the net. Goalie Nic Riopel stopped the Everblades from padding their lead any further, stopping the next 10 shots he faced that period.
The Road Warriors entered the third looking to take a bite out of the Everblades lead. On a shorthanded 2-on-1, Brendan Connolly fluttered a shot just wide of the net. The Road Warriors failed to capitalize on a slashing penalty to Florida, and finished the night without a power play goal.
Road Warriors Goalie Nic Riopel, who rejoined the team after brief loan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, finished the night stopping 33 of 36 shots he faced. The Road Warriors were 0-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home to face the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out to enjoy a Throwback Thursday which features select draft beer, fountain drinks, hot dogs, and pretzels for just $2! College students get in for $6 and groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounted tickets and preferred seating based on availability. Call 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more information.