Skid leaves Marks at a loss

A new low point in Augusta Lynx hockey hit James Brown Arena over the weekend when the team dropped three home games by a combined score of 16-2.

 

Saturday night's 12-0 loss to the Florida Everblades highlighted the forgettable weekend, and it might have marked the end for a few Lynx skaters.

Lynx head coach John Marks , who cut four players two weeks ago, said he may be forced to make another round of cuts if things don't improve.

"It's almost like they're forcing me to," he said. "I'm not a coach who likes to make a lot of changes, because I believe in continuity. To make a better team you've got to have that team continuity, and you lose that when you makes cuts, but they're forcing me to."

"They seem to have an inability to grasp what they're being told," he added.

Lynx defenseman Kevin Quick , a prospect in the Tampa Bay Lightning system, said Marks has every right to be angry.

"If he's mad, he should be," Quick said. "We're putting him in a tough position. We've got to turn this around."

The Lynx tried to recover from their double-digit loss by outshooting the Dayton Bombers 17-4 and took a 1-0 lead after one period Sunday. Quick scored the goal with assists credited to Tim Branham and Chris Lawrence .

"The first period was one of our best periods all year," Lynx forward Matt Auffrey said. "We were playing good, and it felt like we saw that light at the end of the tunnel, but it fell apart after that."

The Lynx gave up two goals in the second period and lost 2-1.

STREAKING : The three losses over the weekend extended the Lynx's losing streak to six games. The skid is the team's longest since March 11 when the 2007-08 team lost its seventh consecutive game in a 5-3 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators.

INJURY UPDATES : Brent Henley took the ice for the first time Sunday. The 6-foot-7, 250-pound defenseman was not at 100 percent but managed to skate regular shifts.

Another injured Lynx, Jason Bloomingburg , is skating with the team but remained inactive over the weekend.

HOW BAD IS IT? : The Lynx are tied with the Trenton Devils for last in the ECHL with 33 goals in 15 games played. Only Trenton, with seven points, and Reading (11) trail Augusta (12) in the league standings.

The Lynx are at the bottom of the ECHL South Division standings, two points behind fifth-place Mississippi and nine behind first-place Florida and South Carolina.

NO REST FOR THE WEARY : The Lynx face two division opponents this week. They'll travel to Gwinnett for a Thanksgiving night game against the third-place Gladiators before returning home to square off against the fourth-place Charlotte Checkers on Saturday.

"Our division is so tough," Marks said. "If you're in last place or first place, you're not going to get a break."

ATTENDANCE: An announced crowd of 3,005 watched the Lynx lose Saturday night. Only 1,618 came out for the Sunday afternoon contest. James Brown Arena is averaging 2,741 fans per game in six home games, slightly off from last year's average of 2,835. The Stockton Thunder lead the ECHL in attendance with an average of 8,216 fans per game, and the Johnstown Chiefs are last with 1,894 per game.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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