Dayton Bombers (10-4-3)
at Augusta Lynx (5-14-1)
When: 7:35 p.m.
Where: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
Radio: WGOR-FM 93.9
Bombers --- Under second-year coach Greg Ireland, who led Bombers to a 34-27-9 record and second round of ECHL playoffs last year . . . on a 4-1-1 streak. . . Early MVP candidate Jamie Ling is second in ECHL with 22 assists and 31 assists, is on eight-game point streak, was named ECHL player of month for November. . . Tom Nemeth is tied for first among ECHL defensmen in scoring (5 goals-14 assists-19 points). . . RW Jason Payne leads the league in penalty minutes (157). . . Rookie Peter Constantine, acquired from Lynx in Nov. 18 trade, makes his return tonight. . . .Strong goaltending tandem of Jason Saal (8-2-1, 2.96 goals-against average) and Alex Westlund (2-2-2, 2.92). . . Power play ranks second in league (24.2 percent), penalty killing ranks fourth (85.8).
Lynx --- Closing out nine games in 12-nights stretch, Lynx went 3-2-0 in five road games last week. . . LW Wes Mason (8-7-15) tallied four goals and an assist on the trip ... G Judd Lambert earned his first shutout of the season, second of career in 6-0 win at Arkansas on Sunday. ... C Lars Pettersen leads Lynx in scoring with 20 points (6 goals-14 assists). . . Home debut of second-year forward Andrei Chouroupov (7-8-15), who scored his first goal as a Lynx in win at Arkansas on Sunday. The 21-year-old Russian was acquired last week in trade with Toledo for D Mark Desantis. . . RW Jonas Soling second on team in scoring (6-10-16). . . Including tonight, Lynx play five of next six at home. Augusta/Raleigh franchise is 3-6-0 all-time vs. Dayton. . . Power play is 24th in league (12.7 percent), penalty killing is 11th in league (82.9).
NOTES AND QUOTES
A wing and a prayer
When Dean Tiltgen moved to left wing six games ago, it was the first time in more than six years that the 25-year-old played a position other than center.
He admits the transition wasnít seamless at first, but Tiltgen says he is now feeling a bit more comfortable in his new role.
Tiltgen's new comfort zone was evident in Sundayís 6-0 win at Arkansas when he unleashed a pair of nifty moves which resulted in his first two-goal performance as a Lynx.
"I'm getting better at it, but itís going to take some time," Tiltgen said. "It's a totally different game playing the wing because there's a lot more standing around, and Iím only now starting to get used to it."
Lynx coach Dan Wiebe moved Tiltgen to the left wing on his No. 1 line with Stewart Bodtker at center and Jonas Soling at right wing, and the trio was effective on the last road trip, combining for five goals and four assists in five games.
"There's a lot of speed on our line and if we get it clicking we should be able to score a few goals for sure," Tiltgen said.
And now that the line is beginning to jell, Soling says his confidence is returning after he suffered the past few weeks through an offensive slump.
"We're starting to work well together and I feel a lot more confident in myself now," Soling said. "When you don't have any confidence, it's hard to do anything and that was the case for me and everyone, I think I'm back on track and the team is back on track. It's all in the head."
House of Payne
Think Dayton enforcer Jason Payne knows how to handle himself?
The league-leader in penalty minutes (157) sent fellow tough-guy Ken Tasker of Toledo (second in PIMs with 151) to the hospital after a classic battle of heavyweights in the second period of the Bombers' 3-2loss to the Storm on Nov. 26. Tasker temporarily lost hearing in hisleft ear and suffered a broken nose.
One TimersDefenseman John Whitwell celebrated his 24th birthday on Thursday. . . Rookie defenseman Lucas Nehrling was reassigned by New Jersey toArkansas of the ECHL. Lynx coach Dan Wiebe requested the move afterNehrling openly criticized him during the first intermission of Sunday'swin at Arkansas . . . Goalie Mike Valley remains in Augusta despite his recall by the Vancouver Canucks to Syracuse on Nov. 19. With a logjam in net in both Augusta and Syracuse, the Canucks are trying to find a placefor Valley to play, including with a team in Sweden.