GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors‘ inaugural season in the ECHL came to an end on Wednesday, April 27 in overtime of Game Seven against the Wheeling Nailers. The Eastern Conference semifinal series was the 22nd series in the history of the ECHL to go seven games.
Kelly Cup Playoffs Record: 6-5-0
Regular Season Record: 46-22-4, 96 pts., 1st place South Division
Kelly Cup Playoffs Leaders:
Goals –Brendan Connolly: 7
Assists – Justin Bowers: 12
Points – Justin Bowers: 13
+/- – Brad Cole: +6
PIMs – T.J. Reynolds: 43
PPG –Brandon Wong/Brendan Connolly: 2
SHG – None
Wins – Nic Riopel: 4
GAA – Chris Beckford-Tseu: 1.59
SVP – Chris Beckford-Tseu: .920
Regular Season Leaders:
Goals –Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 28
Assists – Jimmy Kilpatrick: 44
Points – Jimmy Kilpatrick: 63
+/- – Brendan Connolly: +28
PIMs – T.J. Reynolds: 206
PPG – Jimmy Kilpatrick: 12
SHG – Marc-Olivier Vallerand: 4
Wins – Nic Riopel: 24
GAA – Dov Grumet-Morris: 2.32
SVP – Dov Grumet-Morris: .922
Dates to Remember This Summer:
ECHL Board of Governors Meeting – June 20, 2011 in Las Vegas
Teams’ Protected Lists submitted – June 1, 2011
Teams’ Season-Ending Rosters submitted – June 15, 2011
Teams’ Qualifying Offers submitted – July 1, 2011
Training Camps Open – September 30, 2011
Recapping the Final Week:
4/26 vs. Wheeling: W 6-3
The Road Warriors used the same pattern as in Game Four and came away with the victory that forced Game Seven. A three-goal first period, which included two power play goals, allowed Greenville to build a lead it would not relinquish. Andrew Carroll (4:56) and Andrew Rowe (12:25) registered the power play scores while Brendan Connolly potted his first of the night at even strength 6:32 into the game. That goal chased Wheeling starter Peter Delmas and left Patrick Killeen to finish the game. Connolly touched him up for a goal in the second, but a pair of goals by Doug Rogers 29 seconds apart left Wheeling down by two heading into the third. There the Road Warriors picked up scores by Chris McKelvie and Marc-Olivier Vallerand to keep their distance from Wheeling despite Dan Henningson’s tally at 16:07. Nic Riopel won his fourth game of the playoffs with 27 saves.
4/27 vs. Wheeling: OTL 3-4
The Road Warriors were twice able to stave off elimination in the series, but the third time proved to be the charm for Wheeling as the Nailers claimed their third overtime win of the playoffs. A power play goal by Joey Haddad at 12:31 of the first gave Wheeling a 1-0 lead for the first time in four games. Greenville erased the advantage with a reply from Marc-Olivier Vallerand with 2:54 to play in the first. Haddad chipped in his second of the night 5:51 into the second which was followed by Paul Crowder at 7:26 as Wheeling took a 3-1 lead. Brendan Connolly’s centering pass was tipped in by Andrew Rowe at 16:27 of the second and pulled Greenville within one. Despite multiple efforts to tie the score earlier in the frame, Greenville saw the time whittle down to 2:15 remaining in the game before the Road Warriors were awarded a power play. With just 23 seconds left in regulation, Connolly hammered a slap shot past Peter Delmas to send the game to overtime. In the extra session, Haddad pounced on a loose puck and created a 2-on-1 with Chris Kushneriuk who slipped the winning shot past Nic Riopel at 8:23 of overtime.
· The Road Warriors and Nailers Eastern Conference semifinal series was the only second round series that did not end in a sweep. It was the 22nd Game Seven in the history of the ECHL.
· Road Warriors were just the second team in the history of the ECHL to win the regular season conference title. The other team to accomplish the feat was San Diego in the 2003-04 season.
· Greenville forward Jimmy Kilpatrick set career highs during the 2010-11 season in games played (64), assists (44), and points (63).
· The Road Warriors’ 46 wins during the regular season were the most in the history of the organization including the 22 years it operated at the Johnstown Chiefs. The previous high was 45 in 2003-04. The Road Warriors’ 96 points were one shy of the 97 from the 2003-04 Chiefs.
· Road Warriors goalie Nic Riopel had more wins, 24, than any rookie goalie in the ECHL and finished fourth among all goaltenders in that category.