RiverHawks knock off Ice Flyers

Augusta 4, Pensacola 1

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After suffering a third-period breakdown on the road Friday night, the Augusta RiverHawks didn’t need any extra motivation upon returning home Saturday.

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Pensacola's Matt Robertson (center) tries to take a shot on Augusta goalie Peter Skoggard on Saturday. The RiverHawks, wearing jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness, picked up a three-goal victory.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Pensacola's Matt Robertson (center) tries to take a shot on Augusta goalie Peter Skoggard on Saturday. The RiverHawks, wearing jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness, picked up a three-goal victory.

“We were all so fired up after last night,” forward Neil Graham said. “Fire up and angry and frustrated.”

Graham scored two first-period goals and Peter Skoggard stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 4-1 win over the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The victory, which came in front of more than 2,000 fans on Pink in the Rink’s Breast Cancer Awareness Night, kept the RiverHawks (23-8-2) atop the Southern Professional Hockey League standings with a three-point lead over Knoxville (22-7-1).

Augusta, which has lost its past five road games, got its fourth consecutive win at home. Head coach Brad Ralph said taking advantage of the team’s home games has been a priority considering the daunting schedule that looms over the next three and a half weeks.

James Brown Arena will play host to the Augusta Futurity, sending the RiverHawks away for five consecutive road games.

“We’re happy to win two out of three (this weekend), but we know we’ve got to be more consistent on the road,” Ralph said. “We didn’t play well from start to finish yesterday. We didn’t follow the game plan. Tonight the guys bought into the game plan and our leaders led.”

The team’s veteran forward line of Graham, Matt Auffrey and Egor Mironov supplied most of the offense. After Graham’s efforts gave the RiverHawks a 2-0 lead through one period, Auffrey beat backup goalie Jeff Rose for his 15th goal.

Rose took over in the second period for starting goalie Adam Ward, who was injured in the second after Kyle Watson knocked him over skating through the crease.

Augusta took more shots in the first period (12) than the last two combined (11) but didn’t need any extra offense. Shane Ferguson gave Pensacola (15-10-2) its only score early in the third period.

Branden Kosolofsky added an empty-net goal with a minute left.


PLAY OF THE GAME: RiverHawks captain and reigning league MVP Matt Auffrey was given open ice through the crease and he used all of it to wait out goalie Jeff Rose and beat him top shelf for a 3-0 second-period lead.

STAR OF THE GAME: Neil Graham scored twice in the first period for his eighth and ninth goals of the season and first of 2012.

NEXT: Augusta RiverHawks at Pensacola, Friday, 7:05 p.m.

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Jilly Bean
Jilly Bean 01/15/12 - 04:34 am
Go Lynxs!

Go Lynxs!

pommom38 01/15/12 - 09:48 am
Um, who are they? I remember

Um, who are they? I remember a team called that like so 4 or 5 years ago!
Yes indeed, they better fix their road mess and get down to business! Last night was rough watching. Yes, we won but it was one heck of a SLOPPY win! You guys are better than this!
Speaking of attendance Billy, love how league inflates numbers for other teams.. They claimed 2103 Friday night in MS, um. If there was even 1200 there, they are lucky! There so called 2100 made our last night attendance look like 5000! lol

Hoser 01/15/12 - 12:59 pm
The Lynx???? Ummmmmmm,

The Lynx???? Ummmmmmm, Jill.............

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