BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors used a 2-1 win in Cincinnati on Friday night to move one point ahead of idle Gwinnett into first place in the South Division. The win improved Greenville to 34-20-4 on the season.
Puck luck was not on Greenville’s side early on in Tuesday’s contest. A shot from the left point by Jeremy Klaver never arrived on net, but rattled around on the edge of the crease after a deflection. Anthony Luciani jumped on it and sent the puck across Jason Missiaen’s crease where it bounced off of Lee Baldwin‘s skate and in. The goal came just 1:07 in and left Greenville looking for the tying goal. Lee Baldwin nearly provided it in the final minute of the frame on a 2-on-1 with Justin Bowers. But when Nick Tabisz put a hook into Baldwin, it prevented him from getting a shot off. It did however earn a power play for the Road Warriors, of which 1:43 carried over into the second. Missiaen stopped nine shots in the period to keep Greenville within one while Cincinnati’s Brian Foster denied all 10 shots Greenville sent his way.
Brandon Wong continued his torrid scoring pace in February by netting his ninth of the month, 20th of the season, to tie the game at one with 5:29 gone by in the second. Francis Meilleur sprung Wong into the zone with a crisp pass through center and as Wong drove to the net front he slipped a backhand shot past Foster. The Road Warriors had their fair share of chances to take the lead in the second as they out-shot Cincinnati 10-3. But Foster tightened up after Wong’s goal and Missiaen, despite not seeing a shot for over 10 minutes thwarted all four shots he saw.
The third period provided a thrilling finish to the contest as the Road Warriors held on for their second straight one-goal victory. With 5:16 gone by in the last stanza Jason Wilson took a faceoff win by Jeremy Gouchie and scorched a wrist shot past Foster for Greenville’s first lead of the night. Greenville helped the lead stand up by staying disciplined and only taking one penalty in the frame. With some solid saves by Missiaen the Road Warriors extinguished the Cyclones’ advantage and allowed for Wilson’s goal to stand as the difference. The goal was Wilson’s second game winner of the season.
Missiaen turned in 23 saves in picking up the victory. Greenville was 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return home on Friday, March 2, 2012 to take on the South Carolina Stingrays at 7:35. Join the Road Warriors for their second-annual Pink in the Rink presented by Greenville Hospital System to benefit the Mary Kay Foundation. The Road Warriors will be wearing pink-themed jerseys, skating on pink ice, and doing much more to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Book your group of 10 or more in advance to get discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to book your group outing. 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.