ROANOKE SCOUTING REPORT
The Express were gunning for their eighth straight home win Monday night against Richmond and a chance to close the gap in the Northern Conference standings. Roanoke entered the game seventh in the conference, four points behind Richmond for the sixth spot. The top eight teams from the North make the postseason. ... Roanoke is winless in its past six road games, and tonight marks the first of a seven-game road swing. ... Former NHLer Daniel Berthiaume (18-11-1, 2.25 goals-against average) and Dave Gagnon (9-12-1, 3.03 GAA) form one of the best goalie tandems in the league. ... Rookie Doug Sheppard, a former star at Providence College, leads the club in scoring (22 goals-28 assists-50 points). ... Addition of C Mike Omicioli, who began year with AHL Providence last month, has provided big boost. Omicioli has five goals and 12 points in 10 games with Roanoke. ... All-star defenseman Calvin Elfring (9-26-25) is one of the top offensive blueliners in league. ... Forward Kevin McDonald is third in the ECHL with 277 penalty minutes. ... Power-play ranks 16th in ECHL (18 percent), penalty killing ranks fifth (83.0).
Roanoke - None reported. Augusta - C Lars Pettersen is on recall to AHL Worcester; D Cal Benazic (knee) is on 7-day IR.
Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood
One look at 6-foot-3, 220-pound forward Andrew Rodgers is enough to put fear in the heart of any opponent.
But behind the intimidating facade is another character guy his new Lynx teammates say is a plus in the dressing room and on the bench.
"I've always just been the type of guy to try and keep everyone positive and focused in the locker room," said the 25-year-old Rodgers, who signed with the Lynx on Feb. 9. "There's still some times when want to say some stuff but I won't because I haven't been here that long, but I'll be someone to throw little thoughts in here and there to keep things rolling."
Rodgers began the season in training camp with the Louisiana IceGators before suffering a shoulder dislocation in training camp. He was cut by Louisiana and was out of hockey and living with his wife in Pensacola, Fla., when the Lynx called.
Rodgers was recommended by Paul Vincent, whom the Lynx acquired from Arkansas for Russ Guzior last month. Vincent and Rodgers once were teammates with Odessa in the Western Pro League.
"I looked at sitting out the year and getting the shoulder as strong as I could for next year," said Rodgers, who met his wife while playing for the Pensacola Ice Pilots from 1997-99. "Then, they (Lynx) called me on a Thursday night and asked me if I could be here to play on a Friday night, so I drove up and here I am."
Rodgers was working with his father-in-law as a laborer doing electrical work around Pensacola when the phone rang. Burton said he felt the Lynx needed another physical presence, and Rodgers certainly fits that bill.
The Napanee, Ontario, native already has fought three times in his first three games, totaling 31 penalty minutes. Once he gets into game shape after a four-month layoff, Rodgers said he hopes to make an even greater impact on the ice.
"I'm not a flashy player, I'm just a guy who goes up and down the ice hitting," said Rodgers, who has scored five goals in 123 pro games. "And I'll fight when they need me to fight. I'm here to take care of the rest of the guys. That's my role."
Left winger Sandy Lamarre, who had a hand in the game-winning goal in three straight games last week, is on a six-game point streak. ... The Lynx's seven-game win streak is the third-longest in the ECHL this season. Charlotte's 10-game streak in late December and January is the longest. The league record is 14 straight wins, by the Knoxville Cherokees (now Pee Dee Pride) in 1993-94. ... The Lynx have won four straight at home; the franchise record is five, set last season. ... Augusta is 15-1-2 when leading after two periods.
|Roanoke Express (27-23-4) at Augusta Lynx (24-23-5)|
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
Tickets: Available, $12, $10, $8 (724-TICK)
Radio: WRDW-AM 16301480; WRFN-FM 93.1
The series: The Lynx are 1-3-0 against Roanoke, including a 4-3 win at home Dec. 21 and a 5-2 loss at Roanoke on Jan. 23.