BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
In a game featuring two of the top offenses in the Eastern Conference, it was a bit curious to see the first period go by without a goal. Kalamazoo’s Riley Gill and Greenville’s Jason Missiaen turned away all challengers, but Gill was particularly sharp. With Kalamazoo taking all three penalties that were issued in the first, the Road Warriors had the benefit of staying on the attack for most of the frame. They launched 15 shots on net in all, including two while working on a 5-on-3 that lasted for a minute and forty seconds. Brendan Connolly had the best chance to dent the scoreboard first, but a wicked one-timer from the left circle was padded away by Gill. Missiaen stopped eight shots in the first to keep Kalamazoo at bay.
The Wings’ offense woke up in a big way in the second period as it put five goals on the board and left the Road Warriors in a three-goal hole after 40 minutes of play. The scoring started with Joe Charlebois beating Missiaen with a slap shot off of a faceoff win 2:56 into the stanza. Trent Daavettila followed with the first of three power play goals in the period just a few moments later. Greenville swung momentum in its favor with a power play goal by Bretton Cameron in his home debut at 7:43, but the Wings’ responded with two more power play tallies of their own. Darryl Bootland and Nick Sirota tallied 46 seconds apart to earn a three-goal advantage at 4-1. Jeff Prough brought the Road Warriors back within two at 14:06 of the frame, but Greenville gave up a late 2-on-1 and Bootland cashed in again to restore Kalamazoo’s advantage heading into the third.
Greenville did not find a way to ignite a comeback in the third period as none of their nine shots were able to beat Gill. The Wings had all the offense in the final frame with a pair of goals. Kory Karlander doused any chance Greenville had of building momentum early in the frame by scoring his 10th of the season 2:18 in. Dustin Cloutier capped the scoring by finishing off a 2-on-1 with Darren Archibald with 7:56 left to play. Things turned rough in the final minutes of the game as Wes Cunningham, Randy McNaght, and Jason Wilson each dropped the gloves in separate fights.
Missiaen turned away 25 shots in taking the loss. Greenville was 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home on Saturday, February 11, 2012 to take on the Kalamazoo Wings. Saturday is this season’s Scout Night with special discounts and commemorative scout patches for all scouts in attendance. Call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to get your scouts booked. Any 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. Also, please note that the Road Warriors game scheduled for March 1 has been moved to Saturday, March 3 at 7:05 p.m. at the BI-LO Center. Visit Greenvilleroadwarriors.com for more information.