The Augusta Lynx signed David Brumby based on his reputation as one of the East Coast Hockey League's steadiest goaltenders for the past seven seasons.
He didn't immediately live up to his billing, but Brumby finally paid dividends Friday night in 2-0 shutout victory over the Greenville Grrrowl before 3,412 fans at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
The 27-year-old was steady, and spectacular at times, as he recorded his first win as a Lynx and posted the team's second shutout this season.
After going 0-2-0 with an .855 save percentage in his first three outings, Brumby looked like the goalie who carried the Jackson Bandits to the playoffs three years ago with 28 wins, a .915 save percentage and a league-record seven shutouts.
"I wanted to come in here and prove I could still play," said Brumby, who made 27 saves. "I started to feel normal for the first time this week. And the were outstanding in front of me tonight."
Captain Brad Ralph gave the Lynx a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal in the second period, but it wasn't until defenseman Jay Leach scored his third goal of the year with 2:23 left in the game that Brumby and Augusta could breathe easy.
After stumbling to five losses in six games to close out 2002, the last-place Lynx (11-20-1) began the new year on a high note heading into tonight's road contest against Pee Dee.
"(Brumby) was real solid from start to finish," Leach said. "I don't think they had any real second opportunities on any shot. He looked real good and that was just what we needed."
The Lynx opened the scoring at 6:34 of the second on Ralph's fifth goal of the year, which was made possible by a strong penalty-killing effort by Ryan Lauzon.
Lauzon picked off a Grrrowl outlet pass and skated in alone on goalie Jayme Platt. Lauzon's shot was turned aside by Platt, but Ralph was in the slot to tap the loose puck home.
The struggling Grrrowl (15-17-3), who have lost leading scorer Jonathan Roy to Germany two weeks ago and third-leading scorer Mikko Sivonen to an eye injury, dropped their fifth straight contest, but not without a fight.