BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
It took some time and 11 shots on goal in the first period, but the Road Warriors broke the ice against Gwinnett with a power play goal at 17:33 of the frame. It was Bowers’ 10th goal of the season and it broke an 0-for-12 stretch on the power play for the Road Warriors against Gwinnett. The Road Warriors had to kill off a Gwinnett power play earlier in the period to allow for Bowers’ marker to give them the lead. Gwinnett managed two shots on the advantage, as part of their five in the period, but goalie Bryan Hince kept the Gladiators’ attackers at bay.
Gwinnett struck first in the second period, but the Road Warriors struck last, and loudest, to go up by two heading into the third period. The Gladiators’ Pat Galivan tied the score at one with a power play goal that beat Hince low to the glove side. It only took the Road Warriors two minutes and 26 seconds to tie the score as off of a faceoff win by Jeremy Gouchie, Jason Wilson hammered his second goal of the season past Jeff Jakaitis. Then, just like he did at the tail end of the third period, Bowers beat Jakaitis for a power play goal to give Greenville a 3-1 lead with 45 seconds remaining before the intermission.
The Gladiators came out with some jump in the third period and made things interesting as they closed the gap to one just 5:08 in. After cycling the puck down low in a 4-on-4 situation, Bryan Brutlag uncorked a one-timer that beat Hince to the blocker side. The Road Warriors picked it up from there, though, and responded with a power play goal from Jeff Prough. It was his first goal at home since November 10, 2011, but it provided some level of comfort as the Road Warriors went back up by two. Gwinnett pulled Jakaitis for the extra attacker with just about two minutes left to play, and had some time with a 6-on-4 skater advantage, but could not find any more ways to beat Hince.
Hince had 26 saves in earning his fifth win of the season. The Road Warriors were 3-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the power play.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors face off against the Gwinnett Gladiators on Sunday, January 22 at 4:05 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Come out for Family Fun Day with the Road Warriors. The Road Warriors will debut their green third jerseys, local country recording artist Kylie Hinze will be performing on the concourse, there will be a post-game skate with the Road Warriors, fans can get tickets in the BI-LO Family Fun Section, and all kids 12 and under can get tickets for just $5. Your group of 10 or more can also get a discount off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability by booking in advance. Call 864-674-PUCK to book your group outing with the Road Warriors.