Pee Dee Pride (20-5-1)
at Augusta Lynx (10-16-2)
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
Radio: WGOR-FM 93.9
Pride -- Boast best record in ECHL, winners of three straight and six of past seven games under first-year head coach Frank Anzalone, who coached Lowell (AHL) last season. ... After tonight, Pride is off until New Year's Eve, when they take on Tallahassee at home. ... Are 13-4-1 vs. Southeast Division teams. ... C Dany Bousquet is tied for seventh in league in scoring (17 goals-18 assists-35 points). ... Rookie C Buddy Smith, who starred at Northern Michigan University last season, is second on club in scoring (8-20-28). ... One of top goaltending tandems in league in Sandy Allan (8-3-1, 2.21 goals-against average) and Paxton Schafer (12-2-0, 2.45). In last game, Schafer posted 4-0 shutout win over Charlotte at home Saturday. ... Fourth in league in defense, allowing 2 1/2 goals per game. ... Power play ranks second in league, firing at 23.8 percent, while penalty-killing unit is tops in the league, allowing only 12 power-play goals in 126 chances (90.5 percent).
Lynx -- Prior to Wednesday's game at South Carolina, were 7-2-1 in their past 10 games. ... Are 0-1-1 against Pee Dee, including 5-4 shootout loss in Florence on Dec. 2. ... C Lars Pettersen had his nine-game point streak snapped Saturday night in Greenville. The 23-year-old posted seven goals and nine assists during the streak, and is tied for 13th in ECHL in scoring (11-21-32). ... LW Wes Mason tied for ninth in league in scoring (16-18-34), tied for fifth with his 16 goals. ... Are 5-6-1 at home. ... G Judd Lambert is 3-1-1 in his past five starts with a 2.00 goals-against average ... Lynx are seventh in league in penalty minutes, averaging 31.2 per contest. ... Allow second-most shots-against per game, averaging 36.54, rank 25th out of 28 teams in shots-on-goal per game (29.32). ... Power play ranks 21st in league at 14.8 percent, but are 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) against Pee Dee, which has allowed only 12 power-play goals this season. ... Penalty killing ranks 14th in league at 81.6 percent.
NOTES AND QUOTES
It will be a long, looooooong time before Lynx winger Chris Thompson can even think about eating chicken again.
"It was the worst experience of my life," said Thompson, who developed food poisoning, as did teammate Stewart Bodtker, after eating undercooked chicken last week. "I never felt that terrible before in my life."
For Thompson and Bodtker, the illness lasted four days, forcing them to miss both games last week. Both players returned to practice Monday.
After first feeling the effects last Wednesday, the 21-year-old Thompson said he could eat nothing but crackers and dry toast until Sunday, and dropped close to 10 pounds.
The tainted chicken was prepared by winger Bryan Duce, who was still on injured reserve at the time, and Thompson quipped that Duce had ulterior motives.
"The guy was trying to get back into the lineup," Thompson said, with a grin. "He found a way to get us out."
The timing couldn't have been worse for Thompson, who was at the top of his game after a slow start. Before the illness, the native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, had scored five goals with three assists in his past seven games.
Thompson also had added a spark on the power play, as the Lynx went 7-for-32 (21.9 percent) with the man advantage during that seven-game stretch. The New Jersey Devils prospect's six power-play goals leads the club.
Defenseman Mike Piersol, who suffered a concussion in Saturday's loss at Greenville, is expected to be out until at least Sunday, when the Lynx travel to face Greensboro.
The 23-year-old rookie's condition is not considered serious, but he was still feeling lightheaded Wednesday and is being held out of the lineup as a precaution.
With Piersol out, the Lynx will be forced to again play with five defensemen tonight vs. Pee Dee, one of the top offensive teams in the league.
Coach Dan Wiebe had hoped to have defenseman Clint Cabana back from a stint with Syracuse of the AHL by Christmas, but Cabana underwent surgery Thursday to repair a broken jaw, and is expected to miss up to two months.
Cabana suffered a broken jaw against Augusta's other AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats, when he took a shot in the face. The 21-year-old finished his shift before skating off, and said he did not realize there was a problem until he saw a trail of blood behind him.
The news of Cabana's injury isn't good for an already thin blueline. Though rookie Corey Smith has done an admirable job moving from forward to the backline, Wiebe had been counting on Cabana's return, meaning he may step up his efforts to acquire another defenseman, either through a trade or the waiver wire.
Augusta's statistics do not include Wednesday night's game
-- Rob Mueller
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