The Augusta Lynx traded goaltender David Brumby to South Carolina in January for future considerations.
On Friday night, Brumby put even more doubt into his former team's future - playoff future, that is.
Brumby stopped 27 shots in a 4-2 victory, damaging the Lynx's already frail postseason hopes.
Augusta trails Greenville, a 6-5 winner over Florida, by seven points.
"If he had played like that here, he'd still be here," Augusta Lynx coach David Wilkie said. "He played tremendously."
The Lynx outshot the Stingrays 22-17 through two periods, getting a shot past Brumby only once.
After falling behind 1-0 early in the second period, the Lynx finally scored.
With Trevor Johnson serving a roughing penalty, Augusta's Mike Legg penetrated the Stingrays' zone and passed to Chris Thompson, who blasted a shot over Brumby's shoulder to tie the score with 3:26 left.
The score didn't stay that way for long.
Josh St. Louis' charging penalty and a four-minute-long high-sticking call on Martin Lapointe 54 seconds later gave the potent Stingrays power play more than they needed.
With six seconds left on St. Louis' penalty, the Stingrays took the lead for good. Mike Jickling stuffed home a pass from defenseman Curtis Huppe past a defenseless Curtis Cruickshank for a 2-1 lead with 44 seconds left.
"We had the momentum," Wilkie said. "Anytime you go down 5-3, it's tough to kill, especially against a team like South Carolina. The toughest part is, we haven't been able to come back after two periods. It's almost a death sentence with us."
The Stingrays added an insurance goal at 6:59 of the third, when Huppe buried a slap shot past Cruickshank for a 3-1 lead.
Ryan Crane got the Lynx back to within one with 2:45 remaining, but Adam Calder's empty-net goal made sure the Lynx remained winless when trailing after two periods (0-28-2).
The Lynx are running out of time and games.
They have nine games left, and Wilkie estimated the team has to win seven of those to overtake Greenville.
"We looked like a team that pushed the panic button," Wilkie said. "We played like we were afraid to lose."
Reach Raymond Beasock at (706) 823-3221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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