BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Road Warriors were out-shot 8-0 over the first half of the first period and while Jason Missiaen played strongly over that stretch, he couldn’t completely hold Chicago at bay. At 3:47, Pierre-Luc Faubert took a drop pass in the high slot and sent a shot over Missiaen’s right shoulder. The Road Warriors were in danger of falling further behind when back-to-back penalties by Brent Cornelius and Jyri Niemi left Chicago with a 5-on-3 power play. With some timely saves from Missiaen the Road Warriors made it out of the woods unscathed and went on the offensive. But six shots in the first weren’t enough to beat Chicago’s Rob Nolan.
Greenville’s offense came to life in a big way in the second period with a pair of goals which allowed the Road Warriors to take a brief lead. But Chicago cashed in a 2-on-1 rush shortly after Greenville’s second goal to draw even. Justin Bowers slipped to the front of the net from the left-wing corner and shuffled the puck through Nolan’s legs to pull Greenville even at one with 12:38 gone by in the period. Bowers’ tally was followed by Brett Robinson slamming home a rebound off of a Wes Cunningham point shot at 16:02. Before Greenville could enjoy the lead for long, Scott Wietecha finished off a rush with Chad Painchaud 52 seconds after Robinson’s goal.
Greenville goalie Jason Missiaen was at his busiest in the third period but was also at his best and he stopped all 14 shots he saw from the Express and allowed for the Road Warriors to reclaim the lead. Bowers picked up his second of the night by tipping in a Cunningham point shot just before the third was half over. Chicago desperately tried to even the score and force overtime, but Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored into an empty net with 15 seconds left to play and set the final score.
Missiaen made 31 saves in earning his sixth win of the season. The Road Warriors were 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return to home ice to take on the Gwinnett Gladiators at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center on Thursday, January 12. It’s a Road Warriors’ Throwback Thursday with $2 select draft beers, fountain drinks, hot dogs, and pretzels! College students can get in for $6 with a valid ID and there are discounts for groups of 10 or more along with preferred seating based on availability. Throwback Thursdays are presented by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3. Call the Road Warriors at 864-674-PUCK for more information or to book your group.