BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors lost for the first time on their six-game northern road trip by a 6-3 score against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday. The loss dropped Greenville’s record to 18-11-2 on the season.
With goalie Brad Fogal making his first ECHL start, the Cyclones spotted him a one-goal lead in the first and the Road Warriors were forced to play from behind for the second straight game. At the 7:58 mark the Cyclones’ Chris Cahill slapped a one-timer past Jason Missiaen with the lone assist going to Joel Champagne. Greenville’s Brett Robinson made sure the deficit didn’t grow as he scored his third goal in as many games against his former club. The power play goal was set up by Wes Cunningham and Brandon Wong. Just 22 seconds after Robinson’s goal, though the Cyclones reclaimed the one-goal lead as Mike Pelech batted a shot out of midair past Missiaen. The Road Warriors refused to let Cincinnati take the lead into intermission and Marc-Olivier Vallerand answered the bell with his 16th of the season at 16:15.
Mike Liambas didn’t show up on the scoresheet in the second period, but a big hit he threw on Brett Robinson was the biggest momentum changer. Just moments after play resumed after Robinson was dinged up, Jonathan Hazen wristed a shot past Missiaen to restore Cincinnati’s lead. That was followed by Cahill’s second of the evening at 8:17 as Cincinnati took a two-goal lead. Despite a late power play chance, the Road Warriors could not get any of their 10 shots in the period past Fogal and the Cyclones went into the third up two.
Brendan Connolly breathed life into the Road Warriors’ attack 3:56 into the third period as his 19th goal of the season pulled Greenville within one at 4-3. Greenville could not build on the momentum, however, and two more goals by Cincinnati put too much distance between the teams for the Road Warriors to pull off the comeback. Champagne 5th of the season at 6:21 restored the two-goal lead and Justin Vaive set the final with his third at 11:51.
Missiaen shouldered the loss as he made 32 saves on the night. The Road Warriors were 1-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home to face the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday, January 12 at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out for a Throwback Thursday which features $2 draft beers, fountain drinks, hot dogs, and pretzels. College students can also get in for $6 with a valid ID. Throwback Thursdays are sponsored by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3. You can also save on your tickets by bringing out a group of 10 or more! The Road Warriors offer discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability to groups who book in advance. Call 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more info or to book your group.