Originally created 03/06/03

Lynx notebook



The Augusta Lynx hit the road Wednesday for one of their most important trips of the season with forwards Josh St. Louis and Jeff Szwez on board.

St. Louis returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since Feb. 20 after missing the past five games with a hip flexor injury. Szwez, who was recalled to Binghamton of the American Hockey League Feb. 14, also rejoined the Lynx Wednesday.

That leaves the Lynx with one extra forward for this weekend's games, and coach David Wilkie said a decision whether St. Louis will play will be made after an evaluation at practice today in Estero, Fla.

The Lynx face the Florida Everblades on Friday and Saturday, then travel to face the Greenville Grrrowl on Monday to makeup a game that was postponed due to bad weather last month.

Augusta (21-33-5) trails Greenville by five points for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Southeast Division with 13 games remaining.

"They want to make sure it's 100 percent perfect," St. Louis said of his injury. "(Wednesday) was the first day on the ice for the last two weeks. It's a little sore, but all the guys have sore groins and knees at this point in the season. They just want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

St. Louis is tied for ninth on the team in scoring with 26 points on 15 goals and 11 assists in 46 games. Szwez has six goals and 14 assists in 34 games with the Lynx.

SCOTTY SPEAKS: Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, will be the keynote speaker at the Augusta Lynx Booster Club's annual season-ending banquet.

The club changed the date of the banquet to March 20 to accommodate Bowman's schedule.

Bowman retired after leading the Detroit Red Wings to their third Stanley Cup in five years last season but remains with the Red Wings as a consultant.

The banquet will be held at the Augusta Sheraton. About 50 seats remain. The cost is $25 for booster club members, $35 for non-members and can be purchased at the next Lynx home game on March 14.

ONE TIMERS: The Columbus Cotonmouths beat Greenville 4-1 on Tuesday to move past the Lynx into sole possession of sixth place. Columbus trails Greenville by four points for the final playoff spot and leads Augusta by one point. ... Throughout March, Lynx players will be on hand as guest coaches at the Augusta Ice Sports Center to work with youth league teams and players.

Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.