LAFAYETTE, La. - In the end, it was just another tease.
After battling one of the ECHL's elite teams for almost 60 minutes in a building where few visitors emerge victorious, the Augusta Lynx flirted with the idea of stealing a monumental win before coming up 12 seconds short.
In the latest in a long line of disappointments for the Lynx this season, Louisiana IceGators center Shawn McNeil provided the latest crushing blow, scoring a fluke goal with 12 seconds left to pull out a 4-3 victory Friday night at the Cajundome.
The loss extended Augusta's winless streak to five games (0-4-1) and spoiled the semi-triumphant return of veteran forward Louis Dumont to Louisiana.
It also was painfully similar to a 2-1 shootout loss to Trenton on the road Jan. 24 when the Lynx blew a 1-0 lead to the ECHL's top team late in the third period then fell in overtime.
The Lynx (17-22-5) entered Friday's game last in the Southeast Division, while Louisiana (27-14-5) was atop the Southwest Division and held the third-best record in the ECHL through Friday.
Lynx captain Scott Morrow tied the contest 3-3 late in the third period, but McNeil dashed their hopes with a goal that summed up the season for Augusta.
With time winding down in regulation, McNeil carried the puck in deep and shot it on net from an impossible angle behind the goal line. The puck hit off goalie Judd Lambert and trickled in behind him for the fateful goal.
Dumont, an IceGators fan favorite for three seasons, received several ovations from the crowd throughout the game, and eventually delivered. The 28-year-old forward scored a dramatic third-period goal in his first game back at the Cajundome to tie the game at 2.
All-Star Jonas Soling scored the other goal for the Lynx, while defenseman Martin Lapointe recorded two assists.
Center Paul Vincent, acquired in a trade with Arkansas on Monday, made his Lynx debut and played well, recording an assist.