BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors picked up a hard-fought 3-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night. The Road Warriors used a 2-1 shootout triumph to earn the win and improve their record to 38-21-4.
Although it came a little later than the previous night, the Road Warriors’ first shot of the game hit pay-dirt and allowed them to take the 1-0 lead. In Friday’s win Chris McKelvie lit the lamp 24 seconds in, but this time it took 3:43 for Brandon Wong to beat goalie Billy Sauer and give Greenville the advantage. Rookie Tim Coffman followed at 7:27 by jamming a puck across the goal line out of a net-front scramble. The power play goal was Coffman’s second as a pro. South Carolina responded by putting its first shot of the game past Jason Missiaen at 9:38. Trent Campbell provided the marker which was his 16th of the season. For the period Greenville out-shot South Carolina 17-10.
The second period belonged to South Carolina as the Stingrays out-shot the Road Warriors 12-11 and picked up the only goal of the session. A Phil Oreskovic point shot was deflected by Billy Ryan past Missaien at 14:10. The goal was Ryan’s fourth of the season. South Carolina had twice earlier thought it found the tying goal, but the first was waved off because the puck was put in by Dustin Stevenson with his hand. The second time wasn’t actually a goal because the puck never crossed the line. The Road Warriors had a pair of power plays in the second but could not convert to extend the lead.
Greenville and South Carolina had multiple quality chances to take the lead in the third period, but Missiaen and Sauer stood tall in net and thwarted all attempts to change the score. Missiaen, after having his mask broken and using Nic Riopel’s as a back up, was bowled over by South Carolina’s Matt Scherer in an attempt to crash the net and score the go-ahead goal. The puck did cross the line, but Scherer was called for goalie interference and the goal was waved off. The Road Warriors couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing power play and with 14 saves turned in by Sauer in the third the game went to overtime.
In the extra session Kale Kerbashian nearly ended it with a wrist shot from the slot, but it caught iron. With neither team able to score in the sudden death frame it went to a shootout to determine the victor. Ryan lifted the Stingrays to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but he was the only shooter to best Missiaen. Wong and Kerbashian scored in the bottom of the second and third to provide the Road Warriors with enough offense to earn the win.
Missiaen stopped 35 shots to pick up the win. Greenville was 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-1 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 Fun Day. Any child 12 years old or younger can get a seat anywhere in the building for just $5! Following the game come down to the ice for a post-game skate with the Road Warriors players, it’s free 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.