Road Warriors shine on road trip


The Greenville Road Warriors enjoyed a fruitful pre-Christmas trip to the Sunshine State, weeping three games against Florida and Orlando to move into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 12-13-2 record for 26 points.


Greenville’s trip began with a 4-1 win at Florida on Friday. Jordie Johnston scored a pair of goals, Justin Vaive had a goal and an assist while Andrew Rowe, Marc-Olivier Vallerand and Brad Cole each chipped in a pair of assists in the win. Connor Knapp earned the win in goal for the Road Warriors, turning aside 30 of 31 Everblades’ shots.


The Road Warriors set an ECHL season high with eight goals in an 8-4 victory over the Everblades on Saturday. Greenville started quickly, scoring three times in the first period, and scoring five of the game’s first six goals. Brayden Irwin (1g-3a) led the way offensively with four points while Vaive (3g) and Michael St. Croix (2g-1a) added three points each.


Greenville ended its road trip on Sunday, skating away with a 3-2 win at Orlando. The Road Warriors trailed 2-0 late in the second period before Irwin got the club on the board with just under three minutes remaining in the period. Mike Marcou notched the tying goal 6:43 into the third period and Rowe tallied the game winner with 3:11 remaining in regulation. Knapp picked up his second win of the road trip, stopping 28 of 30 Orlando shots.


It was a good first weekend in a Road Warriors’ sweater for Irwin, who was acquired in a trade with Stockton early last week, as he notched seven points (3g-4a) in his first three games with the club. Rowe leads the team this season with 18 points (6g-12a) in 19 games while his +20 rating leads the ECHL.


The Road Warriors goaltending has been stingy this season as the team ranks fifth in the league with 2.56 goals-against per game, despite the fact that the club allows the third most shots on goal per game. Knapp ranks second among goaltenders with a .936 save percentage while his 2.17 goals-against average is tied for seventh in the league.


Greenville, which has won four straight and five of its last six games, opens a four-game home stand this week, hosting South Carolina on Friday and Elmira on Saturday and Sunday.