He was silent for two periods, but Louis Dumont came back to haunt his former teammates once again.
And three weeks from now, when the regular season draws to its conclusion, the Augusta Lynx can only hope Saturday's 3-2 collapse to the Pensacola Ice Pilots doesn't haunt them on the golf course all summer long.
Dumont set up the tying goal by Greg Pankewicz midway through the third period and scored the game-winner with 6:05 remaining, as the Ice Pilots rallied from a 2-0 deficit and handed the Lynx a loss that could be a crushing blow to their playoff hopes.
To the former Augusta star, who leads the East Coast Hockey League in scoring, that would be the icing on the cake to his MVP season.
"It's nice to score that goal, just because of the circumstances," said Dumont, who celebrated his 30th goal of the season with a fist-pump as he skated past the Lynx bench. "I would have come back here, but they didn't want me back. So, yeah, I definitely want to stick it to them. That was awesome."
The circumstances of the defeat made it even more difficult to swallow for the Lynx (28-23-8), as they blew a golden opportunity to gain ground in the Southeast Division race. With 13 games remaining, Augusta trails South Carolina and Columbia by seven points for the final two playoff spots in the division.
The Lynx outshot the Ice Pilots 10-1 in the opening 7:30 and took a 2-0 lead on goals by Scott Morrow and Lance Galbraith. But they ran into penalty trouble in the second and third periods and quickly strayed from their game plan.
Pensacola eventually chipped away at the lead, as Pankewicz - an American Hockey League and International Hockey League veteran who played 18 NHL games - scored his 34th goal of the year at 2:01 of the second. He added No. 35 at 11:48 of the third period to tie it at 2.
Then came Dumont's fateful goal, which gave the Ice Pilots their third win over the Lynx this season.
"We got away from the game plan tonight when guys started playing their own game," Lynx coach Jim Burton said. "I think they all decided they were Wayne Gretzky out there. They wanted to put on a show after we got up 2-0. When we do that, we lose."
The fact that the winning goal was scored by Dumont, who scored 51 goals and 135 points in 104 games for Augusta from 1999-2001, left an especially bitter taste in the Lynx's mouths.
"Louis is a a great hockey player" Burton said. "I'm sure if he was trying to exact revenge on the Lynx, he got it tonight."
For Dumont and the playoff bound Pilots (35-24-6) it was sweet revenge, indeed.
"I hope this does come back to haunt them, because I just shake my head about the whole thing," Dumont said. "Look at (former Lynx Dean Tiltgen), he's a great player, and he's up there with the league leaders in goals. And I'm leading the league in scoring. If the both of us were back here (in Augusta) this year, with the defensemen they brought in, they'd be a great team. Burton wanted older IHL guys, but the older IHL guys he brought in are just pluggers. That's my point of view."
NOTES: Defensemen David Wilkie and Martin Lapointe both were in the lineup Saturday despite leaving Friday's 6-2 win over Macon with injuries. Wilkie left with about eight minutes left Friday with back spasms, while Lapointe took a high stick to the mouth and lost a tooth. Lapointe was wearing a full shield to start the game, but abandoned it after one shift for his customary half shield, which wasn't enough to protect him Friday. ... Patrick Yetman scored his third goal in two games Saturday for AHL Springfield, including the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Worcester. ... Atlanta Thrashers hockey operations coordinator Tony Borgford, who scouts the ECHL for the NHL club, was in attendance. ... Former Baton Rouge Kingfish and NHL forward Bryan Fogarty died Wednesday of heart failure in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The 32-year-old Fogarty, who battled alcohol and substance abuse for years, was a member of the Baton Rouge club that eliminated the Lynx in the first round of the 1998-99 ECHL playoffs. Fogarty was a teammate of Wilkie's with the Montreal Canadiens in 1994-95 and also played with Lynx veteran Guy Larose with Detroit of the IHL in 1995-96.
Ice Pilots 3, Lynx 2
Star of the game: Former Lynx star Louis Dumont exacted revenge on his old club with the game-winning goal and an assist.
Key play: With 6:05 left in the game, Dumont took a feed in front and beat goalie Zac Bierk for his 30th goal of the season, giving Pensacola the lead for good.
Plus: Bierk wasn't especially busy but was sharp, recording 19 saves. He also recorded an assist for the second straight night.
Minus: The Lynx ran into penalty trouble in the second and third periods, which helped swing the momentum in Pensacola's favor down the stretch.
Today's game: Lynx vs. Macon Whoopee, 4:05 p.m., Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
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