Originally created 03/25/01

Lynx's playoff hopes dealt blow with loss



GREENSBORO, N.C. - After a few short days in the driver's seat, the Augusta Lynx crashed and burned Saturday night.

With a 3-2 loss to the Greensboro Generals, the Lynx relinquished the 10th and final playoff spot in the Southern Conference, and now find themselves teetering on the brink of extinction.

Baton Rouge moved back ahead of the Lynx with a 2-0 victory over Pensacola on Saturday and have a game in hand on Augusta.

The Kingfish (32-25-10, 74 points) have five games remaining, including today's showdown against Mississippi. Augusta's record is 33-28-7, good for 73 points.

The only good news for the Lynx was Mississippi's 5-1 loss to Jackson on Saturday. With the loss, the Sea Wolves remain two points behind the Lynx with three games remaining.

Greensboro also is in the thick of a playoff race and desperately needed Saturday's win to keep their hopes alive. The Generals (26-36-7) entered the game three points behind Johnstown for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Northern Conference.

The Generals came out hungry to avenge a 10-4 pasting by the Lynx in Augusta last week and led 3-0 after two periods on goals by Curtis Huppe, Lukas Smital and Joe Ritson.

Augusta rallied in the third period on goals by Louis Dumont and Scott Morrow just 1:14 apart early in the third period. But Generals goalie Eric Heffler slammed the door the rest of the way and finished with 36 saves for the victory.

It was the Generals' first win over the Lynx in five tries this season and only their second win in the past nine games.

The Lynx must regroup in a hurry with the Greenville Grrrowl coming to town Tuesday night for a 7:05 p.m. contest at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

They close out the season with games Friday at home vs. Tallahasse, Saturday on the road at Greenville and next Sunday, April 1, at home against South Carolina.

NOTES: Center Paul Vincent, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing three games with a knee injury, was bothered by soreness in the knee Saturday, sat out the entire first period before he was able to enter the game early in the second period. Vincent did not register a point, which ended his seven-game goal-scoring streak and 14-game point scoring streak. Both streaks were the longest active streaks in the league. ... Ken Tasker served the final game of his three-game ECHL suspension Saturday. ... Defenseman John Whitwell, bothered by a sore knee, saw limited ice time in the third period. Dumont, a right winger, took several shifts on defense late in the contest.