BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors had their three-game winning streak against the Gwinnett Gladiators snapped by a 3-2 loss on Saturday night. The defeat dropped Greenville’s record to 21-14-2 on the season.
In the first period Brett Robinson continued his run of strong play and tallied his 14th goal of the season 2:03 into the game to put the Road Warriors on the board first. After a Gwinnett turnover at the Greenville line, quick passing by Justin Bowers and Marc-Olivier Vallerand sent Robinson in on a break. The Road Warriors had a golden chance to extend the lead a few minutes later when back-to-back penalties on Gwinnett gave them a one-minute 5-on-3. Greenville couldn’t convert on that, then killed off a Gwinnett 5-on-3 to maintain the lead. Jason Missiaen was tested with 11 shots in the first period but answered the bell on each of them.
On the Gladiators’ annual Teddy Bear Toss night, Andy Brandt brought a storm of stuffed animals raining onto the ice early in the second. He deflected a shot by Paul Flache into the net past Missiaen and tied the game at one 2:44 into the second. The Gladiators continued to pepper the net while limiting the Road Warriors to three shots in the period. The Road Warriors threw a wrench in the works of Gwinnett’s plans to take the lead thanks to Justin Bowers’ power play goal. Off of a rush from the red line, Bowers took a pass from Robinson and wristed a shot low blocker side on Jakaitis to restore Greenville’s one-goal lead. The goal was Bowers’ eighth of the season.
The final frame belonged to the Gladiators who potted a pair of goals and took their first lead of the game. The first came from Nikita Kashirsky 1:22 in. His slap shot from the right wing appeared to deflect off of a Greenville defender past Missiaen for the tying goal. The eventual game winner came from Cody Brookwell on a slap shot from the point at 6:55. The Road Warriors pulled Missiaen for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining and actually earned a 6-on-3 skater advantage after a pair of Gwinnett penalties. They set up Vallerand in the high slot, but his shot missed the net and the Gladiators killed the clock for the win.
Missiaen shouldered the loss while making 30 saves on the night. The Road Warriors were 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors face off against the Gwinnett Gladiators on Saturday, January 21 at 7:05 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Get your group of 10 or more together to come out and enjoy a night with the Road Warriors. Groups qualify for discounts off of the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Also be sure to check out greenvilleroadwarriors.com/tickets/groups for information on birthday party packages and luxury suite rentals. Call 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more info or to book your group.