BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
In their first home game in two weeks the Greenville Road Warriors treated their fans to a 4-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday night. The win improved Greenville’s record to 20-13-2 on the season.
Playing their first home game in two weeks, the Road Warriors gave the hometown fans plenty to cheer about in the first period. A power play goal and an even strength score put Greenville in front of Gwinnett 2-0. The first strike came on a slap shot from the high slot by Marc-Olivier Vallerand. His 19th of the season almost didn’t happen as the shot hit goalie Jeff Jakaitis’ glove but he didn’t catch it clean and it rolled across the line at 11:31. Gwinnett gave Greenville four power plays in the period and the last one was almost converted into a goal before the penalty expired. But with 48 seconds left on the clock and the power play over Max Campbell dug the puck out of a pile and shoved it in for his second goal of the season. In his first home start, Bryan Hince made seven saves to keep Greenville up by two.
Gwinnett rallied in the second period with a pair of goals to tie the score. The Road Warriors’ defense did well to limit the Gladiators to seven shots in the period, but a hard wrist from the slot off of Brad Miller‘s stick and a deflected point shot by Pat Galivan could not be stopped by Hince. After Miller’s goal cut Greenville’s lead in half just over three minutes into the period, the Road Warriors were given 1:15 of a 5-on-3 but could not squeeze a shot past Jakaitis. Feeding off of the successful kill, Galivan tipped Will Colbert’s wrister in just before the period was halfway over.
In the third period the Road Warriors scored the all-important first goal that broke the 2-2 tie. It was the second straight game with a power play goal for Brett Robinson as his 11th of the season proved to be the game winner. A pass by Justin Bowers deflected off of the skate of Vallerand directly to Robinson between the circles and he spun a quick shot past Jakaitis. Shortly after Gwinnett pulled Jakaitis for the extra attacker in the final minutes, Greenville’s Jeremy Gouchie tucked a shot into the empty net to seal the victory.
Hince won his home debut for the Road Warriors with 22 saves on the night. Greenville went 2-for-8 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors face off against the Gwinnett Gladiators on Friday, January 13 at 7:35 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out for the Spinx Family Four-Pack which gets your four tickets, hot dogs, soft drinks, and bags of chips for $48! The Road Warriors will also wear special Clemson-themed jerseys for the game that will be auctioned off live after the game, and former Clemson QB/linebacker Patrick Sapp will meet fans and sign autographs before the game. 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.