BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
DULUTH, GA – The Greenville Road Warriors picked up a standings point for making it to overtime on Saturday night but fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Gwinnett Gladiators. The loss dipped Greenville’s record to 26-17-3 on the season.
The Road Warriors’ last win in Gwinnett was on October 22, 2011 and that was also the last game in which Wes Cunningham scored for the Road Warriors. He changed that in the first period by firing home a power play goal at 7:36 of the first to lift Greenville to a 1-0 lead. Bretton Cameron set up the score for his second assist as a Road Warrior. Nikita Kashirsky answered for Gwinnett at 16:22 of the first to knot the score at one. The goaltenders were sharp in the first as Greenville’s Jason Missiaen stopped six shots and Jeff Jakaitis denied 13 for Gwinnett.
In the second, the Road Warriors’ penalty killers, with help from Missiaen, stole the show as they killed off four of the five shorthanded situations they were faced with including two separate 5-on-3s. After the first 5-on-3 was killed off, Brandon Wong slipped a shot past Joe Palmer, who came on to replace an injured Jakaitis. The Road Warriors reclaimed the one goal lead at 11:26 of the second, but just after the second 5-on-3 expired Dallas Jackson fed a slap shot past Missiaen to knot the game at two heading into the third.
Greenville was dominant in the third with a 12-5 shot advantage in a period that was played at even strength the entire time. But both Missiaen and Palmer were on top of their games and kept the offenses off the scoreboard. With each team picking up a point for making it to overtime, there was a more careful pace to the extra session and Gwinnett registered the only shot of the session.
In the shootout Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored Greenville’s only goal while Gwinnett got markers from Brad Miller, Joey Haddad and Pat Galivan to take the extra point.
Missiaen stopped 29 shots for the Road Warriors while Greenville was 1-for-2 on the power play and 7-for-9 on the penalty kill.