Originally created 11/28/98

Lynx scratches win over Greenville



GREENVILLE, S.C. -- When the opposing team crosses the line, don't expect the Augusta Lynx to go down without a fight.

The Greenville Grrrowl certainly pushed the envelope Friday night during an ugly line brawl late in the third period, but the Lynx didn't simply get mad.

They got even.

With the specter of another tough road loss looming, Lars Pettersen scored the tying goal on a power play with 3:43 left in regulation, and the Lynx went on to take a 3-2 shootout victory over the Grrrowl before 10,001 stunned fans at th Bi-Lo Center.

"They were real dirty, especially when they had two guys basically pounding on one of our guys, and that really fired us up," said Pettersen, who was credited with the tying goal after a shot by Jaroslav Obsut from the point deflected off his shin pad past Grrowl goalie Nick Vitucci.

"To come back and win was kind of rubbing it back in their face."

The goal, Pettersen's third of the season, came moments after officials sorted through the messy eight-player brawl. The Grrrowl had six players on the ice to Augusta's five for the altercation, including Kam White, who came off the bench to double-team with teammate Jason Hamilton in a pummeling of helpless Augusta winger Chris Thompson.

Though several players were ejected, the teams skated at even strength after the 15-minute free-for-all, but a slashing penalty by Greenville's Charlie Moxham 46 seconds later set up the fateful Lynx power-play opportunity.

"I don't care who you are -- legitimate tough guys want do something like that," said player/assistant coach Darren Colbourne, who netted the game-winning goal in the shootout. "That's not the way it's supposed to work. That's how guys get hurt."

But the Lynx put the final hurting on the Grrrow in the shootout, scoring three straight goals after Vitucci stoned their first two tries.

Lynx goalie Judd Lambert turned in another valiant effort, stopping 27 shots in regulation and three of four chances by the Grrrowl in the shootout to improve his record to 6-7-1.

It was Jesse Rezansoff, though, who supplied the ultimate inspiration down the stretch, after he came off the bench and squared off with Hamilton to rescue Thompson.

"That's a huge team-building win right there," Lynx coach Dan Wiebe said. "That's just an example of how our guys kept battling. Everybody really pulled together, and we finally came through on the power play at the end of the third period then came up huge in the shootout."

But it was the Lynx power-play unit that actually put them dangerously close to a fourth straight road loss. Greenville (9-8-1) took a 2-1 lead on a shorthanded goal with 8:25 left in the game when Sean Venedam scored on a breakaway after picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone.

Coming into the game, the Lynx were 3-for-48 on the power play away from home, and had scored just six third-period goals in 11 road games this season. Pettersen was obviously glad to see a bounce finally go their way.

"It was good that we had a lucky break go our way for a change," Pettersen said of his goal. "That's a huge, huge win."

Huge, indeed, considering what lies ahead. After the game, the Lynx boarded the bus for a 12-hour trip to Fort Myers, Fla., for their first meeting against the expansion Florida Everblades tonight. They then travel to South Florida on Saturday to take on the Miami Matadors.

"To win like that gives you a whole new attitude toward the weekend," Colbourne said. "Imagine coming out of this game losing. We battled our (butts) off and had guys taking punches in the back of the head for us. It was nice to get it to a shootout and get one point, but to get the extra point makes it all worthwhile."

Rob Mueller covers hockey for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3425 or robm99@hotmail.com.