Posted: Friday, March 14th 2014 at 8:21am
Greenville Drives Out Gwinnett 4-2 With Two-Goal Third
By staff reports
GREENVILLE, S.C. -– It had been over three months since the two teams that lie just two hours apart had seen each other, but the Gwinnett Gladiators and the Greenville Road Warriors played like familiar rivals as they played a very tight match Thursday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.
It all came down to the third period with the scored tied at two, and the Gladiators put up a fight, outshooting the home team 18-to-9, but they couldn’t find a way to beat Road Warriors goaltender Jason Missiaen in the final 20. Andrew Yogan scored the eventual game winner on a back door pass just beyond the reach of Mark Guggenberger, just 1:22 into the period. Sean Berkstresser scored the insurance goal at 11:01 on a squeaker that managed to get under Guggenberger’s right arm.
For the Gwinnett goaltender, it was his sixth straight game in net, and only his second loss.
Greenville started the game strong, outshooting the Gladiators 11-to-7, and out-chancing them throughout the majority. Lindsay Sparks gave the Road Warriors a 1-0 lead on a centering pass from Jordie Johnston in the right wing corner. Sparks managed to get his stick in between the flying puck and his skate in the far side of the crease, tipping the puck into the empty net.
With exactly two minutes left in the period, Alpharetta-native Will MacDonald evened the score at 1. The Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week from two weeks ago, Joey Haddad, drew multiple defenders to his side in the right faceoff circle, and took the shot in on Missiaen. The Greenville goaltender made the initial save, but the rebound went to MacDonald of the left side. The Princeton graduate backhanded the wild puck down, switched back to his forehand, and buried the puck in the empty net.
Haddad was held scoreless for the first time in seven games, but he did extend his point streak to eight with the assist. He is tied with Alaska’s Peter Sivak for the longest goal streak in the ECHL this season.
The second period was more back-and-forth hockey between the two sides with Michael St. Croix giving Greenville another one goal lead at 2:12. Another two minutes and twelve seconds later, the Gladiators responded again with another Ivy-Leaguer goal, this time from Harvard-grad Marshall Everson on a perfect pass from Brendan Walker in the low slot through traffic. Everson had open ice in front to bury the one-time shot, knotting the score at two.
Gwinnett returns home Friday for the start of a two-game weekend home-and-home set against the ECHL’s other South Carolina team, the Eastern Conference-leading South Carolina Stingrays. It will be Animation Celebration Night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center with live appearances from SpongeBob SquarePants and Scooby Doo. To purchase tickets, please visit www.gwinnettgladiators.com, or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.
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