Greenville leads 8-7-1 in the regular season, and also defeated the Lynx 3-1 in the Southern Conference semifinals in last year's playoffs.
GREENVILLE SCOUTING REPORT
The Grrrowl were one of the preseason favorites to win a Kelly Cup, but have been mediocre out of the gate in coach John Marks' third season. ... After finishing tied for third in the ECHL in scoring with 93 points last season, center Sean Venedam (5 goals-6 assists-11 points) is off to a slow start by his standards. ... Nick Vitucci (5-2-0, 2.29 GAA) is among the league leaders in goals-against average, but has been hampered by an injury to his stick-side elbow, leaving rookie Shep Harder (3-5-0, 3.64) with the bulk of the duties of late. ... LW Martin Masa (4-13-17) leads the club in scoring, while RW Scott Kirton (6-8-14) has provided scoring and toughness (70 PIMs). ... Grrrowl power play ranks 6th in the ECHL at 19.2 percent, while their penalty kill ranks 8th at 85.9 percent.
Greenville - D Jason Kelly (knee) is out; C Sean Venedam (foot) is questionable; F Kelly Harper (concussion) is out; G Nick Vitucci (elbow) is questionable. Augusta - C Lars Pettersen (dislocated shoulder) is on the 30-day IR; C Andrei Chouroupov (knee) is on the 14-day IR; D Wes Swinson (hand) is questionable; D John Whitwell (knee) is probable; F Chris Thompson (ribs/back) is questionable; Goalie Judd Lambert is on a 25-game contract with Providence of the AHL; D Cal Benazic is on recall to Manitoba of the IHL.
Defenseman Wes Swinson did a number on two of Greenville rookie Cam Kryway's teeth, but he did an even bigger number on his hand in the process.
Swinson cut the index finger of his right hand in a fight with Kryway in Friday's 6-5 loss at the Bi-Lo Center, and won't be in the lineup tonight as a result. Doctors said a tendon in Swinson's finger was severed, and the cut is badly infected.
"It hurts to even touch the tip of my finger, so to try to take a pass or something and have the stick vibrate in my hand would hurt pretty bad," Swinson said. "Hopefully the swelling will go down and I can play Friday (at home vs. South Carolina).
Swinson dressed and tried to play Saturday night vs. Florida. He took one shift and shut it down after he realized he could not get a good grip on his stick.
Add Swinson to the list of the walking wounded for the Lynx. Forward Chris Thompson reinjured his ribs in Friday's loss at Greenville, did not play Saturday and, after a day off Sunday, did not practice Monday. His status for tonight's game is up in the air.
The news was better on defenseman John Whitwell, who returned to practice Monday and is expected to be in the lineup tonight. Whitwell suffered a strained lateral collateral ligament in his left knee Friday and did not dress Saturday.
Enforcer Ken Tasker played just two shifts Saturday against Florida, but he made the most of his ice time.
On his first shift early in the third period, Tasker got active on the forecheck, forced a Florida turnover behind the Everblades' net, and set up Peter Nylander in front for Augusta's first goal.
About two minutes later, Tasker squared off at center ice with Florida tough-guy Ryan Pepperall, pumping up a home crowd that had been quiet for most of the night.
"That's the way I've got to play to get more ice time," said Tasker, whose assist on Nylander's goal was his first point as a Lynx. "I can't be getting kicked out of games all the time. I've got to keep plugging away to earn their trust.
"My role is to be a sparkplug when the game needs a momentum shift," he added. "I'm not going to go out there looking for a fight, but I know I've got to go out there and try to rattle the pots and pans a bit and try to keep the other team thinking."
Augusta has lost four straight and is winless in five games (0-4-1). ... Forwards Scott Morrow and Jonas Soling are tied for the ECHL lead in goals, with 11. ... Lynx coach Scott MacPherson said he will start Reg Bourcier in goal tonight. After starting his pro career 5-0-2, Bourcier has lost three straight games. ... The Lynx lead the ECHL in shots per game, averaging 36.27, but rank 21st out of 25 teams in shots-against, at 34.87, and are allowing 3.93 goals a game, which also ranks 21st. ... Augusta's power play ranks 8th in the league (19 percent), but the team has struggled on the penalty kill, ranking last in the league (72.7 percent).
|Greenville Grrrowl (8-7-0) at Augusta Lynx (5-8-2)|
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
Tickets: Available (724-TICK)
Radio: WRDW-AM 16301480; WRFN-FM 93.1