The Road Warriors worked a lot of things out of their system Friday night, most notably a lack of offense and wins.
Greenville mixed its best offensive night in six weeks with solid work in the net from a new source as it whipped Evansville 6-1.
In snapping its seven-game losing streak, Greenville also won in regulation for the first time since an 8-4 win over Florida at home on Jan. 2. There were 15 games in between Jan. 2 and Feb. 13. The Road Warriors had scored more than three goals in a game just once.
There were 3,987 fans at the Sandlapper Securities Rink in the Bon Secours Wellness Arena to see the Road Warriors don purple jerseys for Stick It To Cancer Night. The jerseys were auctioned after the game to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
“It was good to get off the schneid here with some guys offensively,” said Greenville coach Dean Stork.
Vinny Saponari scored two goals and added an assist while Josh Nicholls contributed a goal and two assists.
“Everyone’s in their own head in a slump like that,” Saponari said. “It’s nice to get out of it, and everyone contributed tonight.
“Everyone had a good game,” he said. “Goalie played great. (Defense) played great. A lot of forwards chipped in.”
That goaltender has been with the team less than a week. Stork called on rookie Braely Torris, who was signed on Tuesday from the SPHL, to start in goal. He responded with a strong game and earned his first ECHL win.
“I thought Braely did a good job, stepped in and played well,” said Stork. “He made the saves he was supposed to make and gave us a chance.
Greenville has been missing points from the line of Nicholls, Michael St. Croix, and Kyle Jean. They bounced back, teaming up for one goal each and four assists.
Greenville (26-19-1-2) hasn’t enjoyed many leads lately, so they relished having a 2-0 lead after one period.
Saponari knocked in his first goal since Jan. 16 during a four-on-three power play. His goal, on assists from Sean Escobedo and Nicholls, came at 4:06 of the first.
Later in the period, Nicholls took a centering pass to score his second goal in as many games. His team-best 14th goal came at 14:15 on assists from Saponari and Chris McCarthy.
St. Croix found the back of the net for the first time in more than a month, making a shot from the left circle at 12:15 of the second period. His sixth goal of the season made it 3-0. Nicholls and Jean had the assists.
Greenville scored three times in the third period. Ben Power got a goal at 3:19 with assists from Samuel Noreau and Emerson Clark.
Saponari notched his second goal at 14:25 of the third. McCarthy and Ryan Hegarty, who moved from defenseman to forward for this game, assisted.
Goal number six came from Jean with just 2.7 seconds left in the game. Nicholls and St. Croix made the assists.
Evansville (12-30-4-2) played the game shorthanded with just 13 skaters available. Mark Anthoine scored the IceMen’s lone goal two minutes into the final period.