The Augusta RiverHawks have one more weekend at home before the road becomes a familiar sight.
While the Augusta Futurity occupies James Brown Arena from Jan. 20-26, the RiverHawks will be on the road for nearly a month after this weekend.
The RiverHawks do have a slightly better record on the road this season at 4-7, and interim coach Mark Richards made it clear that the team must look beyond where it plays and focus on winning games.
“Everybody plays 28 road games, ours just happen to fall when we don’t have ice in the building,” he said. “It is what it is. We don’t make (the schedule). We just have to go and try to win games.”
The return of the NHL this month could add to the challenge as the RiverHawks are already feeling the impact of players being moved up. After Augusta loaned William Lacasse, the top scorer among defensemen on the team, to the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads on Tuesday, the team signed defenseman Joe Schiller to replace him in the lineup.
That was followed by Ian Watters and Pat Schafer being loaned to teams in the ECHL on Wednesday. Corresponding signings came Thursday when the RiverHawks added Jesse Echternach, who played 53 games for Augusta last season, and Myles McCauley, a rookie right winger.
The RiverHawks will play host to the Columbus Cottonmouths tonight at 7:35. Their previous meeting was a 4-2 Augusta win this past Saturday against a Columbus team that has allowed the second-fewest goals in the league.
The goalie combination of Andrew Loewen and Ian Vigier ranks second and seventh, respectively, in save percentage.
The Mississippi RiverKings will visit Augusta for the first time this season on Saturday. The RiverKings are 2-0 against the RiverHawks this season.