Augusta RiverHawks return to home ice on Thursday

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Coming off their best week of the season, the Augusta RiverHawks returned to practice this week trying to take things a little easier.

Augusta won two games and then picked up another point in a shootout loss in a three-game, three-day stretch. The RiverHawks, who play host to Columbus at 7:35 tonight at James Brown Arena, dialed it down a notch in practice to save energy for the start of a six-game run in 10 days.

“We’ve been going hard the past few weeks,” interim coach Mark Richards said. “We took a little different mentality this week. Hopefully, we’re saving our legs for the three games we have (this week). It’s a tough part of our schedule right now.”

With five points last week, Augusta climbed up a spot in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings. Augusta (3-10-3) is tied for eighth place with Huntsville with nine points, two points behind Columbus.

“We put ourselves behind the 8-ball,” Richards said. “Now we’re trying to claw our way back.

“I think we’re a lot more upbeat than we have been. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off last week.”

Richards, the team president who took over the head coaching reins from Rob Miller late last month, is off to a 2-1-2 start. He said he’s still forwarding coaching resumes to owner Bob Kerzner.

“The head coaching situation is status quo right now,” Richards said. “As long as Bob wants me here and as long as the guys want me to be here, I’ll try to do my best.”

Goaltender Robbie Moss stopped 65 of 67 shots in a little more than seven periods of action after taking over for B.J. O’Brien late in the second period against Fayetteville last Thursday. Moss (92.8 save percentage) was named the SPHL Player of the Week for his effort.

Along with Moss, right winger Shawn Skelly posted four goals and two assists in three games. In 11 games with Augusta, SKelly now has 10 points.


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