As the clock wound down to zero, every member of the Augusta RiverHawks skated over to goalie Robbie Moss to celebrate.
Moss stonewalled the Mississippi attack and right winger Shawn Skelly scored a pair of second-period goals as Augusta notched its first home win of the season, a 4-0 victory over the Surge on Friday night at James Brown Arena. The same two teams meet again at 7:35 tonight.
After shocking Southern Professional Hockey League leader Fayetteville with six goals in the third period for a 7-4 road win Thursday night, Augusta is now 2-0 in December. After scoring just 23 goals their first 13 games, the RiverHawks have added 11 in their past two.
“Good hockey is contagious,” Skelly said. “I think that continued into tonight. It was a total team effort again.”
Interim coach Mark Richards, the team president who took over the head coaching reins from Rob Miller 12 days ago, is off to a 2-1-1 start.
With Richards at the helm, Augusta (3-10-2) has earned five of its eight points for the season.
“We’ve proven the past two nights we can play,” Richards said. “Hopefully, we continue getting better and pick off some ‘W’s.”
Skelly had been quiet since joining the RiverHawks on Nov. 15 – he called it being “snake bit” – scoring no goals his first eight games in an Augusta uniform.
Skelly found his groove against Fayetteville, posting two goals. He kept his hot stretch going against the Surge.
In the second period, Skelly poked a tight-angle shot past the right side of goalie Dan Clark. Late in the period, Skelly took a deflection from an Ian Watters shot off the back wall and jammed it in the right side.
“You’ve got to throw every puck on the net to score,” Skelly said. “I kind of got lucky with a couple of breaks on the short side, but you can’t score if you don’t shoot.”
Moss collected 28 saves. Moss, who replaced B.J. O’Brien in the second period of Thursday night’s game, has not allowed a goal in four consecutive periods.