BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors were unable to overtake the Gwinnett Gladiators for the top spot in the South Division as they fell 3-1 on Tuesday night at the BI-LO Center. The loss dropped Greenville to 36-21-4 on the season.
Greenville had been without a power play goal in its last eight tries on home ice entering Tuesday’s game. Defenseman Blake Parlett put that slump on ice early on and lifted Greenville to a 1-0 advantage. Parlett’s first goal since re-joining the Road Warriors came 3:32 into the game with assists going to Kale Kerbashian and Justin Bowers. For Kerbashian, it was his third point in as many games since re-joining Greenville’s lineup. The Road Warriors continued to press throughout the period and totaled 15 shots against rookie goalie Ryan Zapolski. Gwinnett, in turn, tested Jason Missiaen with 10 but was unable to erase Greenville’s advantage.
The second period afforded both teams some solid scoring opportunities, but Missiaen and Zapolski were both able to keep the attackers at bay. Zapolski came through on a 3-on-1 rush as the angle he played forced Justin Bowers to shoot one over the cross bar. Then late in the frame he came through with a stick save on a breakaway by Bretton Cameron. Missiaen was plenty busy himself as Gwinnett tested him with 11 shots in the frame. He was up to task each time to keep Greenville ahead by one.
In the third period, Gwinnett’s offense was able to break through for three goals while the Road Warriors could not solve Zapolski again. After Gwinnett got goals from Bryan Brutlag at 4:06 and Andy Brandt at 7:24 the Road Warriors had appeared to tie the game when Tim Coffman pushed a puck home from the edge of the crease. It was ruled, however, that the Road Warriors had a player illegally in the crease and the goal was waved off. The Road Warriors started sending the defensemen crashing into the offensive zone at every opportunity, but the aggressiveness led to a 3-on-1 for Gwinnett the other way and Dallas Jackson hit pay-dirt with 1:27 to go and set the final score.
Missiaen sustained the loss while making 29 saves on the night. Greenville was 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Road Warriors return to the BI-LO Center for their next home game on Sunday, March 18 at 4:05 p.m. against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Join the Road Warriors for Family Day. Any child 12 years old or younger can get a seat anywhere in the building for just $5! There will also be the traditional post-game skate with the Road Warriors. It’s free to skate with the team after the game to anyone who has a ticket to the game. Skates are also available to rent. There are discounted tickets and preferred seating based on availability for any group of 10 or more that books in advance. Call 864-674-PUCK (7825) to book your group outing. Visit Greenvilleroadwarriors.com for more information.