BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors picked up the third win of their six-game road trip with a 4-1 victory over the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night. The win improved Greenville’s record to 19-12-2 on the season.
Brendan Connolly has made his mark this season by scoring goals for the Road Warriors. He came into Saturday’s game as the league’s second-ranked goal scorer with 20. But in the first period against Toledo it was his playmaking that helped stake Greenville to a 3-0 lead. He set up a power play goal by Connor Shields 3:10 into the game then pitched in on an even strength goal by Marc-Olivier Vallerand and a shorthanded marker by Jeremy Gouchie. The goal for Gouchie was his first since netting two against Florida on October 29, 2011. The Road Warriors limited Toledo to three shots in the period and Bryan Hince, making his second start for Greenville swatted them all away.
Toledo brought the offensive pressure in the second period and out-shot the Road Warriors 11-7. One of those shots found its way past Hince but the Road Warriors stayed up by two goals at the intermission. Hince’s best save of the period came on a slap shot from the right wing circle by Kyle Page. The shot hit Hince on the shoulder and took a roll towards the goal line. He was quick to react and dove backwards to cover the puck just before it crossed the goal line. The only goal of the period came from Toledo’s Jeremy Tucker at the 5:28 mark.
The third period saw plenty more pressure from Toledo, but this time the Road Warriors’ defense slammed the door shut in order to preserve the lead. Hince turned away all 14 shots that he faced and allowed for Brandon Wong to give him a measure of insurance. In a four-on-four, Wong rushed in on a 3-on-2 rush and took a pass from Jyri Niemi before blasting a wrist shot past Toledo goalie Rob Nolan for his ninth of the season.
Hice made 27 saves in all for his second win of the season. The Road Warriors were 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-5 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.