GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Elmira Jackals dropped their season finale against the Greenville Road Warriors by a 6-3 score on Sunday afternoon at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The loss moved Elmira's record to 9-15-3 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
The Jackals came storming out of the gates and were rewarded for the effort with a 1-0 lead before the game was even two minutes old. Christian Ouellet used a toe drag to give himself some space for a shot off of the right wing. Road Warriors goalie Connor Knapp made the initial save but Dane Walters lurked on the doorstep and blasted home the rebound for his first professional goal at 1:49. Walters was far from done in the first as he also challenged Bretton Cameron in his first professional fight at 15:39. Walters wouldn't have a chance to complete the "Gordie How Hat Trick," though, because he received a game misconduct for not having his fight strap properly attached. The scrap came seconds after Greenville's Brad Cole provided the tying score. Scott Greenham received his second start in a row and turned away 15 shots in the first.
While the first period was a tightly contested defensive battle, the second period opened up the offense for both clubs. Elmira tallied early to stake claim to the lead at 2-1. Jakub Culek fired off a wrist shot from the right wing circle that beat Knapp under the blocker for his fifth strike of the year. Greenville, responded, though with three straight to go up by a 4-2 score. Mark Olivier-Vallerand tied it with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 3:56 and was followed up by Mike Marcou at 7:17 and Justin Vaive at 11:10. Rob Bellamy potted his eighth of the year 3:02 after Vaive's marker to draw the Jackals within one, but Josh Nicholls scored off the rush with a minute and 50 seconds remaining in the frame to restore Greenville's two-goal lead.
Greenville played a stifling style of defense in the third and kept Elmira from putting together a comeback bid. The Jackals managed eight shots against Knapp with the best chance belonging to Nick Tuzzolino. The defenseman cut down the left wing and whipped a one-timer on goal but Knapp snatched it with his catching glove. With Knapp able to shut the door, the Road Warriors tacked on an extra goal from Vaive with 14:48 gone by to set the final.
Greenham ended the night with 40 saves in the loss while Knapp turned away 38 for the win. Elmira was 0-for-1 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Saturday, January 4 to take on the Wheeling Nailers. Get here early to be one of the first 1,000 fans through the door to get your free M & T Bank Thundersticks! Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.