DULUTH, Ga. - The Augusta Lynx got a little revenge and a huge first win, beating the Gwinnett Gladiators 4-3 in a shootout on Friday.
A record crowd was on hand at the Arena at Gwinnett Center as Augusta gained and lost a 3-0 lead. The Lynx might have let the lead slip away, but prevailed in the shootout to earn a couple big points in front of a hostile 8,586 fans.
A week ago, the Gladiators spoiled Augusta's season opener at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, gaining the early win and holding on for, ironically, a 4-3 win.
"It was very similar to our game in our building last week," Lynx head coach Stan Drulia said. "Where they dominated for 30, 35 minutes and then we took it to them. We just didn't get to tie it up last week.
"It was a weird game. I'm thrilled to get two points out of here. I don't like giving them one (point). You can't blow a 3-0 lead. But it's a learning curve for us and hopefully we can build on that. It's our first win so it's a welcome two points for us."
For the first 30 minutes, the biggest blow landed by the Gladiators was when 6-foot-8 Lane Manson drilled Mark Scott in the ear during a helmet-tossing first-period fight.
The Lynx took advantage of dreadful defense to gain a 3-0 lead.
Augusta struck first when Todd Bennett converted on a feed from the corner, snapping a low, glove-side shot by goaltender Adam Berkhoel with time running out in the opening period.
It was the first time this season Gwinnett did not score first. It got worse in the second.
Augusta scored two goals 39 seconds apart to stake out a 3-0 lead. Josh St. Louis and Ken Magowan had the goals.
Kris Goodjohn cut the deficit to 3-1 in the second period. Rick Emmett and Jeff Campbell tied the game in the third to force the shootout.