Evansville, Ind. – The IceMen entered the third period of Wednesday’s game with a 3-1 lead, but were unable to hold off the Greenville Road Warriors behind Forward Brendan Connolly’s hat-trick performance.
For the first time this season, the IceMen managed the opening goal of a game. Evansville Right Winger Trent Vogelhuber scored his first goal of the season 11:51 into the opening period. IceMen Center Dale Mahovsky and Defenseman Aaron Gens were credited with the assists.
Continuing Evansville’s favorable start was Left Winger Josh Beaulieu with his third goal of the season. Effective puck movement from IceMen Centers Jason Dale and Nathan Moon resulted in the goal that gave Evansville a 2-0 advantage 7:23 into the second period.
The first Greenville goal was produced by a power play that became Evansville’s achilles heel on Wednesday night. Greenville Forward Francis Verreault tallied the first goal on the man advantage for the Road Warriors. Verreault’s third goal of the season came 12:47 into the second period. Assisting on the goal was Forward Jordie Johnston and Connolly.
The Road Warriors power play went 3-for-8 for the game, accumulating to a .375 success rate. Two of the Greenville power play triumphs came from Connolly, who was award the game’s first star. Connolly finished the game with three goals and one assist.
Responding to the Verreault goal in the second period was Evansville’s Vogelhuber with his second score of the game and season. The strike came 13:44 into the middle frame. Credited with the lone assist on Vogelhuber’s goal was Center Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy’s assist gives him seven points on the year, which is currently second on the team behind Center Todd Robinson’s nine points. Vogelhuber’s tally gave the IceMen a 3-1 lead as the second period concluded.
The Road Warriors scored one of its four final period goals when Connolly mustered a power play goal 5:58 into the third period. Connolly would also be credited with a controversial even strength goal that tied the game at three apiece. Greenville’s Verreault ended up on top of IceMen goalie Paul Karpowich as the goal was being scored, but did not warrant a penalty against Greenville. The score came just over two minutes later at the 8:03 mark.
Capitalizing on the momentum swing was Greenville Defenseman Mike Marcou 1:03 later. Marcou’s game-winning goal came 9:06 into the third period and gave the Road Warriors their first lead of the game.
Ensuring the Greenville lead would stand was Connolly once again. His hat-trick goal came 19:10 into the third period, dashing Evansville’s comeback hopes.
The losing goalie was Karpowich, who saved 29-of-34 shots, resulting in a .853 save percentage.
The IceMen power play went 0-for-5 for the game and were a combined 1-for-12 against the Road Warriors in their two-game series at the Ford Center.
Evansville will hit the road to play in-state rival Fort Wayne Komets on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. CST. The Komets are currently in second place in the North Division.