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
Greenville leads 9-7-1 in the regular season, including a 2-1-0 record this season.
GREENVILLE SCOUTING REPORT
The Grrrowl were a preseason favorite to win the Kelly Cup, but have struggled early in coach John Marks' third season. ... LW Martin Masa leads the club in scoring (6 goals-18 assists-24 points), and has a plus-9 rating entering Friday's game at home against South Carolina. ... After finishing tied for third in the ECHL in scoring with 93 points last season, center Sean Venedam has just 14 points in 22 games. ... Veteran Nick Vitucci, the ECHL's all-time winningest goalie, returned from a neck injury Friday, and is seventh in the league with a 2.48 goals-against average. ... D Neil Fewster is eighth in the league in defense scoring (5-13-18). ... Grrrowl are 3-6-1 on the road. ... Power play ranks sixth in the league at 20.2 percent, while penalty kill ranks 17th (80.0 percent).
Greenville - G Shep Harder (broken finger) is out; F Kelly Harper is out (concussion); G Nick Vitucci (neck) is probable; D Eric Van Acker (ribs) is probable. Augusta - C Andrei Chouroupov (knee) is on the 14-day IR; D Denis Chervyakov (concussion) is doubtful; D Cal Benazic is on recall to Manitoba of the IHL.
Former Lynx forward Chris Thompson left the Greensboro Generals on Thursday and told the team he is retiring.
Thompson was traded on Nov. 27 along with goalie J.R. Prestifilippo to the Generals for goalie Erasmo Saltarelli, but from the start, the 22-year-old was not happy about the move.
Lynx center Lars Pettersen said he's talked to Thompson several times since Thursday hoping to talk him out of retiring, to no avail.
"He said it was terrible up there - the housing situation for the team, that the guys there didn't care whether they win or lose, that they were there to just collect a paycheck," Pettersen said.
"Some of the guys suggested he try and come back here, but he says he doesn't want to come back now. I told him as soon as he got back home that he was going to regret it, but he's stubborn."
When asked before Friday's game if there was any interest in reacquiring Thompson, Lynx coach Scott MacPherson said, "no comment."
But according to a team source, MacPherson and GM Paul Gamsby did speak with Thompson on Friday to express their interest in getting him back. But the source indicated that the Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, native still was bitter and would find it difficult playing for MacPherson after he traded him.
Goalie Judd Lambert was released by the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, but whether he will return to the Lynx is another story.
Lambert has been out several weeks with a high ankle sprain and will be out until at least early January. The team has not talked to Lambert directly since his 25-game professional tryout agreement expired Wednesday, but have been in contact with his agent to discuss his return.
The 26-year-old Lambert, who set club records for wins, saves and starts last season, went 6-2-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average in 10 games for Providence.
Lynx forward Sandy Lamarre won't be in the lineup tonight against Greenville as he sits out the final game of his seven-game suspension.
Lamarre was suspended in mid-November for slashing Grrrowl defenseman Neil Fewster in a game at the Bi-Lo Canter on Nov. 27, and the league said he must sit out the final game of the suspension against Greenville.
Apparently, some of the Greenville players are disappointed Lamarre wouldn't be on the ice tonight, while defenseman David Bell told the local media that revenge is in order.
"We don't want to do anything stupid as far as taking anybody out of the game or anything, but (the Lynx) took some liberties the last game, and I think we owe them a few bumps and bruises," Bell said in Friday's edition of The Greenville News.
Defenseman Denis Chervyakov did not play Friday after he took a puck in the mouth during Friday's morning skate and suffered a concussion. Chervyakov had just been cleared to play after missing practice this week with a foot injury. ... For the first time ever, video of Friday's game was broadcast live on the Internet at augustalynx.com.
- Rob Mueller