Road Warriors Weekly Report
LAST WEEK'S RECAP
Overall Picture: The Greenville Road Warriors (35-28-4), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, succeeded in their quest to earn two wins and all four possible points last week, helping the club inch closer to a playoff spot. Greenville is currently fifth in the East Division, but just four points behind the Orlando Solar Bears with five games remaining in the regular season.
Major playoff implications were on the line Thursday as the Road Warriors welcomed fourth-place Orlando to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Despite allowing the first goal in the opening five minutes of the game, the Road Warriors proved they were up for the challenge as Kyle Jean (1g, 1a), Bretton Cameron (1g) and Dallas Jackson (1g) each contributed to a critical 3-2 victory. Between the pipes, Jason Missiaen made 26 saves, including several key stops in the final minutes, for his 15th victory this season. The Road Warriors and Solar Bears completed their 10-game season series with five wins apiece.
On Saturday, Greenville hit the road and continued its success against the Gwinnett Gladiators with a 5-1 victory at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Michael St. Croix (2g, 1a) and Paul Rodrigues (1g, 2a) led the way offensively with three points each, while Jeff Malcolm stopped 25 shots in his first start since returning from Hartford. With the victory, the Road Warriors improved to 6-1-0 against Gwinnett this season and 3-0-0 in Duluth, Georgia. Greenville also outshot the Gladiators 40-26, and has now produced more shots than its opponent in seven straight games.
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Thursday, April 2nd vs. Gwinnett (18-43-6), 7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, April 3rd vs. Gwinnett (18-43-6), 7:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 4th at Gwinnett (18-43-6), 7:05 p.m. ET
Shots from the Point: Anthony Luciani and Vinny Saponari are tied for 17th in the league's scoring race with 62 points... Saponari is also tied for sixth in assists (44)...Thomas Frazee has seven points (3g, 4a) in eight games since joining the Road Warriors on March 9th... Dallas Jackson notched his 100th professional point last Thursday with a power-play goal, while Andrew Himelson played his 100th pro game that night... Kyle Jean will make his 200th professional appearance this Thursday... Chris McCarthy is fourth among ECHL rookies with 181 shots... The Road Warriors are 21-0-0 when leading after two periods and currently pace the league with seven wins when trailing after two periods (7-24-3)...Greenville is three wins away from its 200th franchise victory.
Going Streaking: Second-year pro Michael St. Croix enters Week 23 on a team-high, five-game point streak, dating back to March 19th. During that span, the 21-year old has tallied eight points (4g, 4a) and improved to sixth on the team in scoring (37 points), and third on the club in assists (25). Last season, St. Croix finished fourth on the Road Warriors' roster with 48 points. He was selected in the fourth round (#106 overall) by the New York Rangers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Malcolm in the Middle: All-Star goaltender Jeff Malcolm returned to action for the Road Warriors on Saturday following a nine-game stint with AHL Hartford, and he did not disappoint. The 25-year old saved 24 of 25 shots against Gwinnett and improved his ECHL record this season to 16-9-1. In addition, Malcolm jumped to third place on the Road Warriors' all-time single season wins list. He is currently ninth among league netminders with a 2.49 goals against average and tied for fifth with a .921 save percentage.
Road Warriors' All-Time Single Season Wins List
1. Nic Riopel - 24 wins ('10-11)
2. Jason Missiaen - 22 wins ('11-12)
3. Jeff Malcolm - 16 wins ('14-15)
Playoff Picture: Prior to this season, the ECHL Board of Governors announced changes to its Kelly Cup Playoff format for the 2014-15 campaign. Unlike the past several years, this season's format will include the top four teams from each division, rather than the top eight in each conference. The Road Warriors are fifth in the East Division, just four points behind Orlando and five points ahead of Elmira with less than two weeks left. Both Orlando and Elmira have one game in hand on Greenville. Florida, Reading and South Carolina have all clinched a playoff berth, leaving just one spot open. Road Warriors have made the post-season in each of their first four years in the Upstate.
East Division Standings
1. Florida Everblades (46-13-7) = 99 points in 66 games
2. South Carolina Stingrays (42-19-7) = 91 points in 68 games
3. Reading Royals (42-18-6) = 90 points in 66 games
4. Orlando Solar Bears (35-23-8) = 78 points in 66 games
5. Greenville Road Warriors (35-28-4) = 74 points in 67 games
6. Elmira Jackals (31-28-7) = 69 points in 66 games
7. Gwinnett Gladiators (18-43-6) = 42 points in 67 games
Follow: Keep up with the Road Warriors all season long and interact with other fans on the Official Road Warriors Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram pages. F ans can also listen or watch every game live via ECHL.TV .
Hockey Happy Hour & Thirsty Thursday: The Road Warriors return to SANDLAPPER Securities Rink at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena this Thursday, April 2nd to continue their I-85 rivalry with the Gwinnett Gladiators. It all begins with "Hockey Happy Hour" at 5:30 p.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena plaza. The pre-game party will feature free entertainment, $.99 tacos, 3-for-$3 buffalo chicken sliders and great beer specials! In addition, the 7:00 p.m. contest will feature $2 food and beverage specials inside the arena as well as limited $5 tickets available at the Box Office. The Road Warriors will also offer the new "Student Rush" promotion featuring a blue-level, center-ice ticket and a personal pan pizza for just $15! The offer is available only at the Box Office to students who show a valid ID after 5:00 p.m. on April 2nd.
Fan Appreciation Night: In a continued effort to prove that Upstate South Carolina is a true hockey community, the Road Warriors will attempt to draw the league's largest crowd of the season to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for "Fan Appreciation Night" presented by Hilton Greenville on Saturday, April 11th. In addition to great ticket deals, all returning groups of 15 or more will qualify to receive an extra discount on group tickets for the game!
The evening will be highlighted by promotions and events that include:
The chance to win a trip for four (4) to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida that includes airfare, hotel accommodations and park passes courtesy of Hilton Greenville.
The chance to win one of the Road Warriors' New York Rangers-style jerseys right off a player's back following the game.
Appearance by the Hanson brothers - Stars of the classic hockey movie, Slapshot.
Special appearance and National Anthem performance by FOX Carolina's Nicole Papay.
A pre-game Fan Fest on the plaza that will include live entertainment performed by the band, Hitmob, interactive games for kids, the chance to meet the Hanson brothers, and food and beverage specials.
The chance to win a VIP experience at the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Special $10 Lower Level tickets available online via TicketMaster.com and at the Box Office both in advance and on game day.
Special $7.50 pricing on Upper Level tickets available at the Box Office in advance and day of game.
Prizes given away throughout the game.
For tickets or more information, please call a Road Warriors Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK or visit GreenvilleRoadWarriors.com/tickets-overview.html .
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