By Willie T. Smith III
The Greenville News
GREENVILLE, S.C. – There was little doubt how eager Greenville Grrrowl coach John Marks was to get forward Martin St. Pierre (pictured) and goalie Mike Morrison back to Greenville 10 days ago after the duo was reassigned from Edmonton of the American Hockey League.
Marks sent a police escort to make sure the players arrived at the Bi-Lo Center in time for the game against the Florida Everblades.
“We were in Grand Rapids, Mich., when we got the word we were coming down here,” Morrison said. “We thought we were probably going to stay in Grand Rapids that night and skip the Friday game, but they shipped us right on a plane. The game was 7 that night. We landed at 6 p.m. in Greenville
“As soon as we got off the plane, before we got to the main gate, there was a security guard there with a Grrrowl shirt on. He said, ‘You two come with me.’ He took us right on the tarmac. People on the plane were looking at us like we were terrorists. They were pretty freaked out.
“I’m sure they were glad they were getting off the plane. We got a nice police escort and made it to the rink in record time.”
Although Morrison served as a reserve, St. Pierre played, helping Greenville to a 3-2 victory.
Both players, who returned after extended stints with Edmonton and will be on the ice when the Grrrowl host South Carolina at 7:05 tonight, are excited to be back in Greenville.
“It’s a little weird coming back and seeing new faces — a lot of new faces, actually,” said St. Pierre, who was selected to play in the ECHL all-star game before being called up by the Roadrunners. “Everyone has welcomed me back, and I seem to be fitting in very well.”
Although the players return to a lineup much different from the one they left, each is excited to return.
“Without a doubt, I think the team is better,” Morrison said. “We lost good players in (Carl) Mallette, (Kevin) Bergin and J.F. Plourde. But we also brought in some very good guys. More importantly, I think we brought in some good locker room guys, good off-the-ice guys who are going to keep this team together. That’s what you kind of need going into the playoffs. It’s not really the best talent you put on the ice; it’s the best team.
“If we can be a cohesive unit on and off the ice, I think it’s really going to help our performance.”