BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors started the final month of the season with a surge and won a pair of home games to begin the final sprint to the Kelly Cup Playoffs. This week is chocked full of action with four games against South Division foes on the slate.
Record: 36-20-4, 76 pts., 2nd place South Division
Goals – #Marc-Olivier Vallerand/Brandon Wong: 27/22
Assists – Justin Bowers: 51
Points – Justin Bowers: 69
+/- – Brendan Connolly: +18
PIMs – T.J. Reynolds: 170
PPG – #Marc-Olivier Vallerand/#Jeff Prough/Brett Robinson: 9/8
SHG – Brendan Connolly/#Marc-Olivier Vallerand/Jeremy Gouchie: 1
Wins – Jason Missiaen: 18
GAA – Jason Missiaen: 2.90
SVP – Nic Riopel/Jason Missiaen: .910
# = Not on current roster
Previewing the Upcoming Week:
3/6 vs. Gwinnett & 3/11 at Gwinnett – 7:35 p.m. & 4:05 p.m., Home vs. GWT 6-0-0, Away vs. GWT 1-4-1
Home ice has provided a huge advantage in the Battle of I-85 this season with Greenville winning just once in Gwinnett, and the Gladiators unable to capture victory in Greenville. The Road Warriors will look to capitalize on that advantage in their first game this week then try to buck the trend in their final game on the week on Sunday. Greenville is again trying to hunt Gwinnett down for the top spot in the South Division and Eastern Conference. The Road Warriors had taken first with a 2-1 win in Cincinnati on Feb. 28 but Gwinnett moved back ahead with a win on Sunday while Greenville was idle.
3/9 & 3/10 at South Carolina – 7:05 p.m. & 7:05 p.m., Home vs. S.C. 6-0-0, Away vs. S.C. 2-2-0
The Road Warriors have won the last two games in the Battle of the Palmetto State and they will try to build that streak up when they visit North Charleston on Friday. The games at the North Charleston Coliseum this weekend will be the second and third, of seven, games between Greenville and South Carolina in the month of March. Greenville’s back-to-back wins in the series have helped it move seven points ahead of the Stingrays in the South Division race entering this week.
3/5/12 – * Practice at The Pavilion, 9:00 a.m.
“Between the Pipes” radio show at Ford’s Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen, 7:00 p.m.
Road Warriors and Rowdy at all three SportsClub locations, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
3/6/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. Gwinnett, 7:35 p.m.
3/7/12 – * Practice at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
3/8/12 – * Practice at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
3/9/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Depart for North Charleston, 1:30 p.m.
Road Warriors at South Carolina, 7:05 p.m.
3/10/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Depart for North Charleston, 1:30 p.m.
Road Warriors at South Carolina, 7:05 p.m.
3/11/12 – Road Warriors at Gwinnett, 4:05 p.m.
* Denotes an appearance/event that is not open to the general public.
The Road Warriors’ schedule is subject to change. It is recommended to contact the Road Warriors to confirm times of certain events, particularly practices.
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 team’s home page – GreenvilleRoadWarriors.com. The Road Warriors Pre-Game Show kicks off every broadcast 15 minutes prior to faceoff.
Recapping Last Week:
2/28 at Cincinnati: W 2-1
The Road Warriors shrugged off an early setback and earned their second consecutive comeback win with a 2-1 triumph last Tuesday. The Cyclones went up 1-0 just over a minute into the game when Anthony Luciani’s shot from the edge of the crease banked off of Lee Baldwin’s skate past Jason Missiaen. Greenville’s goaltending and defense battened down the hatches from there and held the Cyclones without a goal the rest of the way. Brandon Wong drew Greenville even with a power play goal in the second period, and Jason Wilson scored his second game-winning goal of the season early in the third. Missiaen turned in 23 saves while picking up the win.
3/2 vs. South Carolina: OTW 2-1
Greenville and South Carolina treated 5,083 fans to a thrilling contest in Greenville’s second-annual Pink in the Rink game. The tightly played defensive battle saw both clubs struggle to generate much offense, but provide plenty of bruising checks over the first 20 minutes of play. The Stingrays then drew blood early in the second when Daniel Koger sent a wrist shot from the right wing past the blocker of Jason Missiaen. Feeling the desperation, the Road Warriors mounted their comeback effort in the third and sent 12 shots Philipp Grubauer’s way. The 12th shot ended up as the one that beat him as Brandon Wong sent the game to extra time. After killing off a tripping minor to Jeremy Gouchie, the Road Warriors snagged the win on Justin Bowers’ 18th goal of the season with 14 seconds remaining in OT.
3/3 vs. Trenton: W 6-3
Trenton was the final Atlantic Division team to visit the BI-LO Center this season and it turned out it was the only Atlantic team Greenville beat on home ice. Saturday’s win didn’t feature the high drama of the previous two games last week because the Road Warriors raced out to a 4-0 lead by the time the second period was almost halfway over. In just his second game back after 70 days out of the lineup Kale Kerbashian provided a pair of goals to help Greenville build a 3-0 lead. Sandwiched between Kerbashian’s scores was rookie Tim Coffman’s first professional goal. Tallies by Sean Berkstresser, Brandon Wong, and Bretton Cameron rounded out Greenville’s scoring for the game. Trenton was able to trim the deficit as low as two on goals by Steve Silva, Ryan Hayes, and Randy Rowe.
Brandon Wong is nominated for ECHL Player of the Week Honors. The second-year forward out of Victoria, British Columbia had three goals and an assist for four points in three games last week. Wong is working on a four-game goal streak and has six points (4G, 2A) over the streak.
Justin Bowers’ overtime winner on March 2 against South Carolina was the first overtime game-winning goal of his career. He is five goals away from tying his career high 23 from the 2009-10 season with Allen of the Central Hockey League.
Goalie Jason Missiaen has started 15 of the last 16 games that Greenville has played in dating back to the start of February. The rookie from Chatham, ON has posted a 10-4-1 mark over that span with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. Missiaen has given up two goals or fewer in five of his last six starts and has moved to 14th in the ECHL with a 2.90 goals-against average.
Greenville has a magic number of 12 to clinch a Kelly Cup Playoffs berth entering this week’s play. The maximum points ninth place Chicago can earn is 88 so by subtracting Greenville’s 76 points, you get the magic number. Greenville’s magic number is reduced any time the ninth place team loses in regulation and the Road Warriors win or lose in overtime / shootout, or when the ninth place team loses in overtime/shootout and Greenville wins in regulation.
Greenville’s has the fifth-best offense in the ECHL with a 3.32 goals per game average. That is slightly off the pace from last year’s squad that tied for the league lead with 255 goals – a 3.54 per game clip.
Tuesday, March 6: Road Warriors vs. Gwinnett, 7:35 p.m. – Two For Tuesday. Show your BI-LO BONUSCARD at the Breakaway Honda Ticket Office window to get a free ticket when you buy another ticket of equal value.
Sunday, March 18: Road Warriors vs. Cincinnati, 4:05 p.m. – Family Day. It’s the final Sunday home game of the season so don’t miss the last post-game skate with the Road Warriors after the game. Anyone with a ticket can skate for free after the game and skates are available to rent. On Family Day, children 12 years old and younger can get a ticket for $5 anywhere in the arena.
Friday, March 23: Road Warriors vs. Gwinnett, 7:35 p.m. – Spinx Family Four-Pack. Round up the family and save on a night at the game with the Spinx Family Four-Pack. With it you get four tickets, four hot dogs, four fountain drinks, and four bags of chips for just $48.
Saturday, March 24: Road Warriors vs. Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. – Pucks and Paws. The BI-LO Center will be going to the dogs on March 24! Fans can bring their dogs with them to the game to enjoy the Dog Fun Zone, take part in the cutest dog contest, and more. Also, call in advance to enter your dog in the small dog derby that will take place at intermission.