The day before his Augusta debut, Casey Mignone drove four hours from Cape Cod, Mass., to his home in New Jersey.
On game day, he flew to Augusta, got a physical, took in a brief nap and then suited up for the RiverHawks.
The rest Thursday night was nothing short of magical.
Mignone scored two goals and added two assists to help lead Augusta past Columbus, 5-2, at James Brown Arena.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Mignone said. “That was a good one. I’m just glad to get the opportunity to come down here. I figured I’d make it worthwhile, you know.
“Hopefully, this is the beginning of many good games.”
The 24-year-old forward, who scored six goals in 15 games with Cape Cod, of the Federal Hockey League, got the call from interim coach Mark Richards at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
He accepted the offer and made an immediate impact, assisting on goals by captain Matt Auffrey and Kyle Watson.
“He’s a skill guy,” Richards said. “He really clicked with Auffrey and Watson. He obviously had a good night.”
With the victory, Augusta (4-10-3) has now won three of its past four and has climbed into a tie for seventh place with Columbus (5-6-1) in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings.
Just a week ago, the RiverHawks, who go on the road to face Huntsville and Knoxville tonight and Saturday, respectively, sat alone in ninth place in the league cellar.
Against Columbus, Augusta led 3-2 after two periods.
Then, Mignone scored 2:36 into the third. Twenty-three seconds later, Auffrey scored off a Mignone assist to push the RiverHawks’ lead to three.
Chris Bailer and Jordan Braid scored second-period goals for Columbus. John Sullivan had two assists, while Bailer and Braid each had one.
Augusta signed defenseman Kevin Kozlowski on Wednesday to a three-game contract. Kozlowski added an assist in the win.
RiverHawks goalie Robbie Moss, the reigning SPHL Player of the Week, stopped 30 of 32 shots.
Moss went 2-0-1, posting a 0.81 goals against average, a .970 save percentage and one shutout as the RiverHawks picked up five of a possible six points last week.