Road Warriors make run to top of conference

The Greenville Road Warriors head out on a five-game northern road trip this week with some momentum on the heels of a 4-0-1 run in their last five games.


Greenville opened last week with a 6-3 win over Gwinnett on Tuesday. Brendan Connolly paced the Road Warriors’ offense with three assists, while Marc-Olivier Vallerand chipped in a pair of goals. With the Road Warriors trailing 2-1 after one period, Vallerand opened a run of five unanswered goals three minutes into the second period, and he ended the run as well, notching his 26th goal of the season with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. Jason Missiaen earned the win in goal for Greenville, turning aside 32 shots.


On Friday, the Road Warriors offense was again firing on all cylinders in an 8-3 win over Toledo. Greenville broke open a 3-3 game after 40 minutes with five goals in the first nine minutes of the third period. Justin Bowers led the way with two goals and two assists, Vallerand and Jeff Prough each had three assists and Francis Meilleur tied an ECHL season-high by recording a +5 rating.


The Road Warriors saw their four-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday in a 2-1 overtime loss against the Walleye. Brent Cornelius’ scored his first professional goal for Greenville, while B.J. O’Brien made 34 saves in his ECHL debut.


Bowers leads the Road Warriors, and is tied for second in the league, with 63 points. His 47 assists are also tops in the league. Vallerand ranks fifth in the league with a team-high 26 goals, nine of which have come on the power play which is also tied for fifth in the ECHL.


Greenville has been one of the hotter ECHL teams over the last month, posting a 10-2-2 mark in its last 14 games to improve to 31-18-4 on the season for 66 points. The Road Warriors sit just three points behind Gwinnett for first place in both the South Division and the Eastern Conference.


The Road Warriors open their road trip with four games in a five-night span this week, visiting Elmira on Wednesday, Trenton on Friday and Reading on Saturday and Sunday.