Jackals out pace Road Warriors
The Elmira Jackals silenced the largest crowd in Greenville Road Warriors history with a 5-2 win on Saturday night at the BI-LO Center. The win improved the Jackals record to 31-20-7 on the season.
The teams battled to a scoreless draw through the first 20 minutes of play despite the Jackals' best efforts. Rookie Connor Knapp started in goal for Greenville and made his first appearance against the Jackals. Elmira welcomed him to the game with 13 shots in the opening stanza, but several strong stops by Knapp kept the Jackals off of the board. At the other end of the ice Ian Keserich made his second straight start and thwarted six shots from the Road Warriors in the first.
Elmira stormed the gates at the onset of the second period and was able to dent the net twice. Rob Bellamy was the first to strike with his 15th of the season 2:04 into the middle frame. Kyle Bushee and Jordan Pietrus grabbed the assists for their first points of the night. It only took 2:23 for the Jackals to extend the lead as Bushee banked a stretch pass to Andrew Rowe who took off on a breakaway. After a deke to the backhand he lifted a shot past Knapp and under the cross bar to put Elmira in front by a pair. The Jackals totaled 17 shots in the frame and controlled play for long stretches. Keserich turned in nine saves to sustain Elmira's lead.
The third period had a polar opposite start than the second for Elmira. T.J. Reynolds scored on a shot from the point at 2:17 then Brandon Wong tallied on the power play at 4:20 to even the score. The Jackals stood up against the challenge and roared back with three goals of their own. Kevin Harvey pounded home a power play goal at 9:20 to restore the Jackals' lead at 3-2. Rowe followed up with another breakaway goal, this time assisted by Chaz Johnson, at 11:19 to push the lead to two. Pietrus then won a faceoff that Johnson tapped to the point to Cameron Cooper. The rookie defenseman launched a wrist shot that beat Knapp high to the glove side for his first professional goal. That strike at 17:03 took away the chance for late drama and set the final.
Keserich's fourth win of the season came on the strength of 24 saves. Elmira ended the night 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals are back on First Arena ice on Saturday, March 9, 2013 to take on the Orlando Solar Bears at 7:05 p.m. The Jackals are hosting Scout Night with special ticket offers for local Scout Groups, and giving away Thunder Sticks at the game! Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounted tickets and preferred seating based on availability. Call (607) 734-7825 to book your group outing. Pro-rated season ticket packages are on sale, as well. Season tickets offer the best value for Jackals fans.