BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Battle of the Palmetto State highlights the Road Warriors‘ final week of the regular season. They square off against the South Carolina Stingrays three times and still have a chance to claim first place in the Eastern Conference.
Record: 40-23-6, 86 pts., 2nd place South Division
Goals – Brandon Wong: 29
Assists – Justin Bowers: 58
Points – Justin Bowers: 76
+/- – Brandon Wong: +20
PIMs – T.J. Reynolds: 187
PPG – Marc-Olivier Vallerand/#Jeff Prough: 9
SHG – Brandon Wong: 3
Wins – Jason Missiaen: 22
GAA – Jason Missiaen: 2.72
SVP – Jason Missiaen: .915
# = Not on current roster
Previewing the Upcoming Week:
3/27 & 3/30 vs. S. Carolina; 3/31 at S. Carolina – 7:35 p.m. & 7:35 p.m.; 7:05 p.m.,
The Road Warriors won’t have to leave the Palmetto State in the final week of the season as they face off three times against the South Carolina Stingrays. Tuesday’s visit by South Carolina will be its first since March 2 when Greenville won 2-1 in overtime in the annual Pink in the Rink game. Since then the teams have played three times at the North Charleston Coliseum with the Road Warriors coming away victorious in all three. In the four prior meetings between Greenville and South Carolina this month three have had to go to overtime, and two into shootouts, to decide the winner. The Road Warriors enter the week needing to win all three games against South Carolina to have a chance to win the South Division and Eastern Conference while the Stingrays are just two points in front of eighth place Cincinnati.
3/26/12 – Practice at The Pavilion, 9:30 a.m.
“Between the Pipes” radio show at Ford’s Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen, 7:00 p.m.
3/27/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. South Carolina, 7:35 p.m.
3/28/12 – * Practice at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
3/29/12 – * Practice at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
3/30/12 – * Pre-game skate at BI-LO Center, 10:00 a.m.
Road Warriors vs. South Carolina, 7:35 p.m.
3/31/12 – Road Warriors at South Carolina, 7:05 p.m.
4/1/12 – Off
The Road Warriors will have an announcement this week regarding their 2012 Kelly Cup Playoff schedule once the team’s first round opponent is known.
* 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 Road Warriors’ home page – Greenvilleroadwarriors.com. The Road Warriors Pre-Game Show kicks off every broadcast 15 minutes prior to faceoff.
Recapping Last Week:
3/23 vs. Gwinnett: SOL 3-2
The Road Warriors collected the first two goals of the game courtesy of Sean Berkstresser and Brandon Wong. Berkstresser’s goal midway through the first was his 11th of the season and Wong potted his 29th with a shorthanded marker early in the second. Gwinnett, though, settled down defensively and limited Greenville to 10 shots on goal over the final 40 minutes of play. That was opposed to 15 Greenville shots in the first. Doug Jones pulled Gwinnett within one on a power play goal at 12:45 of the second and Joey Haddad capped the comeback with a power play goal at 19:51 of the third. After a scoreless overtime it was off to a shootout to decide the winner. Goalies Jason Missiaen and Marc Cheverie each allowed one goal in the first five rounds of the shootout, but in the sixth Cheverie stopped Bretton Cameron and Tyler Murovich scored on Missiaen to lift Gwinnett to the win.
3/24 vs. Gwinnett: L 2-3
For the third consecutive game against Gwinnett the Road Warriors scored the first goal of the game. Chris McKelvie hammered home a one-timer 7:43 into the first with assists from Jeremy Gouchie and Jason Wilson. Gwinnett earned the tying goal on a shot from Steven Mallaro at 17:01 of the first. The Gladiators then took their first lead of the night just over a minute into the second when Nikita Kashirsky snuck a wrist shot past Nic Riopel. With the teams playing four-on-four a few minutes later Wes Cunningham sprung Marc-Olivier Vallerand and he beat Marc Cheverie to tie the score. After the early flurry Riopel and Cheverie shut the offenses down until the third period. Near the midway point Paul Flache jammed a backdoor goal past Riopel and put Gwinnett back in front. The lead held up even in spite of a 6-on-3 Road Warriors power play over the final 26 seconds of the game.
Brandon Wong has five goals in his last five games including three shorthanded goals. He leads the team in goals (29) and shorthanded goals (3). He currently ranks seventh in the league in goals. Marc-Olivier Vallerand’s 28 goals rank him 10th in the league and makes Greenville one of three teams (also Alaska and Las Vegas) with two skaters among the top ten in goals.
Five of Greenville’s last 11 games have gone to overtime with four of those going to a shootout. The Road Warriors are 5-2 in overtime and 5-4 in shootouts this season. Their 16 overtime games are tied for fourth most in the league.
Sean Berkstresser has posted 13 points (8G, 5A) over his last 19 games dating back to February 14, 2012. He has helped Greenville put together an 11-5-3 record over that span. His 27 points (11G, 16A) make for the second-highest total of his pro career. He is also the only Road Warrior to have played in every game this season.
Greenville has a magic number of one to clinch the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The maximum points fifth place Florida can earn is 87 so by subtracting Greenville’s 86 points and adding one you get Greenville’s magic number. Greenville’s magic number is reduced any time Florida loses in regulation and the Road Warriors win or lose in overtime/shootout, or when Florida loses in overtime/shootout and Greenville wins in regulation.
On Saturday Greenville has a chance to do something that no other team in the ECHL has done yet this season; win 20 games at home and on the Road. The Road Warriors’ 19 road wins currently rank second in the ECHL behind only Reading (21). Greenville’s 21 home wins rank fifth in the league. Elmira and Ontario also have a chance to pull off the feat with 19 road wins and two away games left on their schedules.
Tuesday, March 27: Road Warriors vs. South Carolina, 7:35 p.m. – BI-LO Two For Tuesday. Bring your BI-LO BONUSCARD to the Breakaway Honda Ticket Office at the BI-LO Center prior to Tuesday’s game to get one free ticket with the purchase of another ticket of equal value.
Friday, March 30: Road Warriors vs. South Carolina, 7:35 p.m. – Fan Appreciation Day. There are great prizes and raffles on tap throughout the night on Friday when the Road Warriors play their final home game of the regular season. They will wear their alternate green jerseys for the final time and they will be auctioned off live after the game. Fans can also take advantage of the Spinx Family Four-Pack which features four tickets, hot dogs, fountain drinks, and bags of chips for $48.
Early April: Kelly Cup Playoffs! The Road Warriors have qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season and playoff packages are on sale right now. There are options to pay as you go and playoff packages start at $8.50 per seat per game. Call 864-674-PUCK for information on playoff tickets.