BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
With eight weeks left in the season, the Greenville Road Warriors are right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. This week they will close out a string of six straight games away from home and also begin a six-game home stand.
Record: 26-17-3, 55 pts., 3rd place South Division
Goals – Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 23
Assists – #Justin Bowers; Jeff Prough: 43; 24
Points – #Justin Bowers; Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 57; 40
+/- – #Brendan Connolly; Brandon Wong: +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:
2/7 at South Carolina – 7:05 p.m., Home vs. S.C. 5-0-0, Away vs. S.C. 1-2-0
The Road Warriors will finish their stretch of 13 consecutive games against South Division opponents by paying South Carolina a visit this Tuesday. It’s just Greenville’s fourth trip to the North Charleston Coliseum this season and the Road Warriors will look to retaliate after falling 4-1 in their last visit on January 20. Greenville has been held to six goals in its previous six games in North Charleston, but did score four in an overtime win on December 18. The Road Warriors are 4-5-0 all time at the North Charleston Coliseum.
2/9 & 2/11 vs. Kalamazoo – 7:35 p.m. & 7:05 p.m., Home vs. KAL 0-0-0, Away vs. KAL 1-1-0
The Kalamazoo Wings will be the first non-South Division team to visit the BI-LO Center since Reading was in town on December 23. The games in Greenville this week close out the season series between the Road Warriors and Wings. Kalamazoo will bring to town the Eastern Conference’s best offense, second in the league behind Las Vegas, which has scored 163 goals on the season. The Road Warriors last hosted Kalamazoo on January 17, 2011 and skated away with a 4-3 win. They are 1-1-0 in their history at home against Kalamazoo.
2/12 vs. Chicago – 4:05 p.m., Home vs. CHI 0-0-0, Away vs. CHI 2-0-0
Sunday marks the Chicago Express’ only visit to Greenville this season, and the final meeting between the teams in the regular season. The Road Warriors swept a pair of games over Chicago on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at the Sears Centre in Illinois. The Express enter the week in second place in the North Division, four points in back of Kalamazoo, thanks to a five-game winning streak. Sunday will be the finale of a three-in-three for Chicago which will visit South Carolina on Friday and Gwinnett on Saturday.
2/6/12 – * Practice at The Pavilion, 8:30 a.m.
“Between the Pipes” radio show at Ford’s Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen, 5:45 p.m.
2/7/12 – * Pre-game skate at The Pavilion, Time TBD
Road Warriors at South Carolina, 7:05 p.m.
2/8/12 – * Practice at The Pavilion, Time TBD
2/9/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. Kalamazoo, 7:35 p.m.
2/10/12 – Off
2/11/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. Kalamazoo, 7:35 p.m.
2/12/12 – Road Warriors vs. Chicago, 4:05 p.m.
* Denotes an appearance/event that is not open to the general public.
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 – Greenvilleroadwarriors.com. The Road Warriors Pre-Game Show kicks off every broadcast 15 minutes prior to faceoff.
Recapping Last Week:
2/3 at Gwinnett: L 0-3
The Road Warriors suffered their second shutout loss of the season last Friday as Jeff Jakaitis stopped all 32 shots Greenville sent his way. The Gladiators’ power play did the most damage in the game as it came through with a pair of goals in six chances. The Road Warriors had three power play chances of their own. Jason Missiaen started in goal for the Road Warriors and stymied 17 of the 20 shots he faced.
2/4 at Gwinnett: SOL 2-3
For the second game in a row the Road Warriors launched 30+ shots on the Gwinnett goal, but for the second game in a row the pressure didn’t generate enough results to come away with the win. The Road Warriors held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 thanks to a power play goal by Wes Cunningham in the first period and an even strength tally by Brandon Wong near the mid point of the second. The Gladiators answered each of those goals with a power play goal of their own and despite being out-shot 12-5 in the final period were able to hang on for overtime. After a scoreless sudden death session, three Gladiators shooters bested Jason Missiaen in the shootout while only Marc-Olivier Vallerand picked up a goal for Greenville.
* Defenseman Wes Cunningham’s goal on Saturday was his second of the season and first since October 22 at Gwinnett. The goal broke a 29-game goal drought.
* Defenseman Jeff Caister played his 100th ECHL game on Friday, February 3 at Gwinnett. Nearly half of his 101 career games (43) have been played in a Road Warriors uniform. If he plays in all four games this week he’ll eclipse the 46 games he logged with the Victoria Salmon Kings.
* On Tuesday the Road Warriors will finish a stretch of 13 straight games against South Division opponents. After 12 games of that span they are 7-4-1 with a perfect 4-0-0 mark at home and a 3-4-1 record on the road. For the season the Road Warriors are 13-2-1 at home against the South and 6-7-1 on the road.
* With Justin Bowers’ promotion to the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League last week, the Road Warriors have graduated every player who has led the team in scoring to the next level. Jeff Prough was the first when he was called up to Connecticut on December 14 and Brendan Connolly followed when he went to Texas on January 10.
* Greenville’s upcoming six-game home stand is its second longest of the season. The Road Warriors’ 14 home wins are tied for fifth most in the ECHL and they have out-scored opponents 71-61 on home ice.
Thursday, Feb. 9: Road Warriors vs. Kalamazoo Wings, 7:35 p.m. – Throwback Thursday. Come join the Road Warriors for $2 Bud Light drafts, 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. The BI-LO Family Fun Section will be open on Thursday as well! Click here for more information.
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.