ROAD WARRIORS WEEKLY RELEASE: 1/30 – 2/5/12

Ray SchmittBY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors

The Greenville Road Warriors lived up to their nickname last week as they claimed three consecutive road victories over the Florida Everblades and reached a season-high five straight wins overall. They’ll try to keep the momentum rolling this week with a pair of games against the Gwinnett Gladiators in Duluth, Georgia.

Record: 26-16-2, 54 pts., 2nd place South Division

Leaders:
Goals
– Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 23
Assists – Justin Bowers: 43
Points – Justin Bowers: 57
+/- – #Brendan Connolly; T.J. Reynolds: +9; +8
PIMs – T.J. Reynolds: 148
PPG – Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 9
SHG – Brendan Connolly/Marc-Olivier Vallerand/Jeremy Gouchie: 1
Wins – Nic Riopel: 13
GAA – Nic Riopel: 2.93
SVP – Nic Riopel: .910

# = Not on active roster.

Previewing the Upcoming Week:

2/3 & 2/4 at Gwinnett – 7:35 p.m. & 7:05 p.m., Home vs. GWT 5-0-0, Away vs. GWT 1-3-0

This week the Greenville Road Warriors will try to accomplish something no other ECHL team has been able to in 2012; beat the Gwinnett Gladiators at home. The Road Warriors‘ divisional rivals have been lights out at the Arena at Gwinnett Center this year and have reeled off eight straight victories dating back to January 6, 2012. Their last home loss was to Florida on December 30, 2011 and prior to that they had won three in a row at home. The Road Warriors have plenty of momentum in their favor, too, as they have won five in a row including three straight on the road.

Day-by-Day Schedule:

1/30/12 – Off

               “Between the Pipes” radio show at Ford’s Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen, 5:45 p.m.

1/31/12 – Off

                Players and Rowdy at Fried Green Tomatoes on Congaree Rd. from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

2/1/12 – * Practice at The Pavilion, 8:00 a.m.

2/2/12 – * Practice at The Pavilion, 8:30 a.m.

2/3/12 – * Pre-game skate at The Pavilion, Time TBD

                Road Warriors at Gwinnett, 7:35 p.m.

2/4/12 – * Pre-game skate at The Pavilion, Time TBD

                Road Warriors at Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.

2/5/12 – Off

* Denotes an appearance/event that is not open to the general public. Media members, however, are welcome to attend these events to report on the Road Warriors and their community involvement.

Road Warriors Broadcast Information

All Greenville Road Warriors games are broadcast live online courtesy of America One. You can listen to every game for free by clicking on the “Listen Live” link located on the Road Warriors’ home page –  www.greenvilleroadwarriors.com. The Road Warriors Pre-Game Show kicks off every broadcast 15 minutes prior to faceoff.

Recapping Last Week:

1/25 at Florida: W 6-3

Box Score

Brandon Wong tied the Road Warriors’ team record with four points (1G, 3A) and helped lead a potent offensive attack in Greenville’s win to start last week’s road trip. Wong assisted on each of Greenville’s first three goals as the Road Warriors built a 3-0 lead before the second period was three minutes old. Greenville held a 4-1 lead heading into the third, but Florida started the frame on a furious rally. The Everblades scored once before the period was a minute old then tacked on another just 3:28 later to draw within one. But Greenville righted the ship from there and reclaimed the two-goal lead with Jeff Prough chipping one home at 9:44 of the third. Wong’s goal was into an empty net to salt away the win.

1/26 at Florida: SOW 4-3

Box Score

On Thursday the Road Warriors showed their flare for the dramatic as they pulled off the biggest third period comeback in team history to pave the way for their shootout win. Trailing 3-0 heading into the final 20 minutes, the Road Warriors’ rally was sparked by Marc-Olivier Vallerand’s power play goal at 4:22. Brett Robinson followed just over a minute past the midway point of the period and set the table for the final push. Goalie Jason Missiaen was pulled with just over a minute left to play, and with the extra skater advantage the tying goal was tipped in by Brandon Wong after Vallerand let a wrist shot fly from the high slot. After a scoreless overtime, Greenville won the shootout 2-0 with four saves from Missiaen and goals from Wong and Vallerand.

1/28 at Florida: W 3-2

Box Score

The Road Warriors had held the third-period upper hand throughout the series with Florida and Saturday night was no different as Greenville broke a 1-1 tie during the third and held off a late Everblades rally. Greenville grabbed a 1-0 lead on a late first period marker from Justin Bowers but Florida answered back in the second. All it took, though, was a stretch of 1:47 of play in the third for Greenville to take control. Jeff Prough sniped a wrist shot at 7:42 to put Greenville ahead and Bowers followed with what proved to be the game winner. Matt Beca gave Florida life with a power play goal at 12:14, but some big saves by Nic Riopel down the stretch squelched Florida’s comeback attempt.

Quick Hits:

* Justin Bowers is nominated for ECHL Player of the Month and Player of the Week honors. He had 28 points (10G, 18A) in 15 games in the month of January and capped the month with nine points (3G, 6A) in three games during the final week. He currently leads the ECHL with 43 assists.

* Road Warriors forward Sean Berkstresser reached 100 points for his ECHL career with his second assist in Greenville’s 6-3 win over Florida on January 25. Ninety-eight of the 100 points he has scored have come as a member of the Johnstown Chiefs/Greenville Road Warriors.

* The Road Warriors are in the midst of a stretch where they play 13 straight games against South Division opponents. After 10 games of that span they are 7-3-0 with a perfect 4-0-0 mark at home and a .500 record on the road. For the season the Road Warriors are 13-2-1 at home against the South and 6-6-0 on the road.

* Greenville has been locking it down on the penalty kill over the last two weeks. They are 23-for-27 (85.2 percent) on the PK dating back to January 16 in Gwinnett. That includes going 8-for-9 (89 percent) in three games last week against Florida – the ECHL’s third best power play.

* The Road Warriors’ 52 third-period goals are the most of any team in the ECHL, and their 41 goals given up are seventh fewest in the league. Only Las Vegas (+18), South Carolina (+16), and Gwinnett (+13) have a third period goal differential better than Greenville’s +11.

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Feb. 9: Road Warriors vs. Kalamazoo Wings, 7:35 p.m. – Throwback Thursday. Come join the Road Warriors for $2 draft beers, fountain drinks, hot dogs, and pretzels! Also, college students can get in for just $6 with a valid college ID. Throwback Thursdays are sponsored by WSSL 100.5, The Greenville News, and New Rock 93.3.

Saturday, Feb. 11: Road Warriors vs. Kalamazoo Wings, 7:05 p.m. – Scout Night. Calling all Scouts in the Upstate! The Road Warriors are offering special group prices and a cool Road Warriors Scout Patch for those who come out to the game against Kalamazoo.

Sunday, Feb. 12: Road Warriors vs. Chicago Express, 4:05 p.m. – Family Fun Day. All children 12 and under can get a ticket for just $5. Stick around after the game to Skate With the Road Warriors. Anyone with a ticket can attend the post-game skate and if you don’t have your own skates you can rent a pair for $3.

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