Originally created 01/26/01

Soling makes quick return to team



The Augusta Lynx survived the one-game absence of all-star forward Jonas Soling.

Soling is expected to rejoin the club in Florence, S.C., and should be in the lineup when the Lynx close a three-game road swing against the Pee Dee Pride tonight at Florence Civic Center.

The 22-year-old right winger was recalled Wednesday to the International League's Kansas City Blades, the primary affiliate of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks Blades.

"It pretty much was a one-game thing for Jonas," said Lynx coach Jim Burton via cell phone Thursday, as the team was en route from Trenton, N.J., to Florence. "They (Kansas City) had some players who were sick and guys called up, so I guess they decided to give Jonas a chance to play a game up there. It will be nice to have him back."

Soling saw considerable ice time for Kansas City on Wednesday and finished with a minus-2 rating in the Blades' 3-0 loss to the Manitoba Moose at home.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Swede, a fourth-round draft pick in 1996, is in the final year of a three-year contract with Vancouver.

Without Soling in the lineup Wednesday, the Lynx played one of their best games of the season, only to fall 2-1 in a shootout to the Trenton Titans, who hold the best record in the East Coast Hockey League at 30-10-3.

"It was a good game for us," said Burton, whose Lynx outshot Trenton 29-28 and were buoyed by a solid performance in net by goalie Judd Lambert.

"We kept their chances down and deserved to win the hockey game, We played well and I was happy. I hope we play that was again (today)."

Soling leads the Lynx in scoring with 22 goals and 39 points in 41 games. Last week, he was named to an ECHL all-star for the second time in three seasons, along with Lynx defenseman Likit Andersson.

PRESTO CHANGEO:

Pee Dee signed former Lynx goalie J.R. Prestifilippo on Wednesday after Pride goalie Cory Cadden abruptly left the team to take a job as a finance manager at a car dealership.

The 23-year-old Prestifilippo, who was traded to Greensboro in late November along with Chris Thompson for goalie Erasmo Saltarelli, was released by the Generals last week after giving up 17 goals in back-to-back games Jan. 12-13.

In 18 games for Augusta and Greensboro, Prestifilippo was 1-10-1 with a 4.56 goals-against average, including 0-6-0 with a 4.31 GAA for the Lynx.

"We have confidence that J.R. can come in and form a solid tandem in goal with Sandy Allen," Pride GM Jack Capuano said.

The Lynx (17-20-5) are 3-2-0 against Pee Dee (24-17-1) this season.

ADMIRAL SALTY:

There's been some significant goalie movement the past few days between the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks and the Norfolk Admirals, their primary affiliate in the American League.

As of Thursday, however, none of it involved Saltarelli, who has been on recall to Norfolk since Jan. 10.

Burton said Thursday he did not know Saltarelli's status.

"I think (general manager Paul Gamsby) was going to make a call and see what was going on," Burton said. "I'm not sure what's going on."

The Blackhawks recalled goalie Michel Larocque on Wednesday and sent rookie goalie Jeff Maund and veteran Rob Tallas back to Norfolk, meaning the Admirals now have three goalies including Saltarelli.

The 26-year-old Saltarelli won his only start for the Admirals' - a 5-1 win over Louisville on the road Saturday.

TABLOID INK:

Burton was angered by a line from the Titans-Lynx game story that appeared in Thursday's edition of The Times of Trenton, N.J.

The story, by Titans beat writer Mark Simon, hypothesized the Titans "played down to the level of their competition."

"I didn't think that was a fair comment," Burton said. "Our benches were right beside each other, and it certainly looked like (Trenton was) trying. Maybe their media guy there tried to keep the team pumped up with stuff like that.

"They're a good team," Burton added. "They're disciplined, but not overwhelmingly loaded with talent. They're more of a workmanlike team than it is talent, and I think we stacked up well against them and played well."

Prior to Burton taking over the team, Trenton defeated the Lynx 7-2 in Augusta Dec. 15.

Trenton is one of the few markets in the ECHL with two daily newspapers covering the team. The New Jersey capital city also is served by the tabloid-format Trentonian.