Three games into the season and Wes Mason already is tired of the excuses.
Back for his second tour with the Augusta Lynx after a stint in the International Hockey League, Mason is frustrated by his and the team's slow start offensively.
"We've had chances, but we've got to start burying them and finding some way to score goals," said Mason, who has one goal in Augusta's first three games. "We've got plenty of guys who can put the puck in the net. We can't keep making excuses."
After three games, the Lynx are averaging 3.3 goals - good for a tie for eighth in the ECHL.
But Mason expects more out of the top line, on which he is teamed up with veterans Guy Larose and Scott Morrow.
"It's a matter of getting used to coming from (the IHL) back (to the ECHL) and getting used to the players and the speed of the game again," said Mason, who scored 18 goals and 38 points in 28 games for the Lynx in 1999-2000.
"You're starting to see signs every game that it's going to get better, but we've got to get used to playing with each other."
Lynx coach Jim Burton also wants to see more production, but says it's too early to be concerned.
"We need four goals a night to win in this league," said Burton, whose Lynx return to action Friday with the first of back-to-back home games against Florida.
"You know guys like Mason and Larose and Patty Yetman are going to start burying their chances eventually. The good thing is the guys I didn't expect to score seem capable of scoring every game. Guys like Josh St. Louis and Tyson Holly have been getting goals and a lot of chances."
JESS IMPRESSES: The solid play of third-line winger Jessie Rezansoff has been a pleasant surprise to Burton, who had never seen the veteran enforcer play when he signed him this summer.
In his return to the Lynx after a 1 1/2 -year absence, Rezansoff is again living up to his billing as one of the league's most accomplished fighters.
Rezansoff also has chipped in with a goal and an assist in the first three games, and was one of several players who had several good chances in Tuesday's win over Columbus.
"He's better than I thought he was," Burton said. "He's doing all the right things. He's a pretty good hockey player and a great team guy who's always positive on the bench. It's great to see him off to a good start."
BANGED UP: Defenseman Wes Swinson sat out Tuesday's game with back spasms and likely is headed for injured reserve.
Swinson's injury likely stems from dehydration after a bout with the flu in training camp, and Burton doesn't want to risk further injury by playing him this weekend.
Defenseman Trevor Gillies also missed practice Wednesday with a sore lower back. His status for the weekend is up in the air.
There is some good news on the injury front, as defenseman Martin Lapointe returned to practice this week.
Lapointe was struck in the temple by a shot during Augusta's preseason finale Oct. 8 vs. Columbia and suffered a mild concussion. He and forward/defensemen Kevin Hansen (bruised thigh) are slated to come off the 7-day IR on Friday and make their season debut against Florida.
ON THE AIR: Tonight marks the second installment of the Lynx's weekly TV show on Comcast cable Channel 4. The show will air every Thursday at 7 p.m. this season.
The "Behind the Bench" radio show with Burton and new play-by-play man Kyle Schultz debuted this week on WRXR-FM 96.3. The show will be broadcast live from Sports Pub and Grill on Ellis Street every Monday at 7 p.m.
Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.
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