When Dan Sullivan was released by the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans last weekend, he called Colt King.
"Well, you've got some good news, I was cut, too," Sullivan told King. "He was like, 'Alright, when are you going to come and get me?'"
Sullivan picked up his buddy in Sarnia, Ontario, at about 3 a.m. Saturday, and they arrived in Augusta about 14 hours later. On Sunday, Sullivan and King took the ice at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center with about 25 other players for the Augusta Lynx's first day of practice.
"It looked like we had a good bunch of guys who are jelling together early, which is unbelievable," King said.
Two players who don't need to come together are Sullivan and King, who hit it off quickly last season when the Lynx traded for Sullivan at the end of January. The Lynx's primary tough guys - and clowns - last year, Sullivan and King were back at it Sunday, adding energy and enthusiasm to a nearly two-hour practice.
"Everybody here knows what we bring to the game, and I think it will be fun," Sullivan said.
"And if we can get a couple other guys to buy into the same system, then it's going to be a great environment for everybody to play in."
The practice marked new Lynx coach Bob Ferguson's first action in the ECHL since he resigned from the Florida Everblades after the 2000-01 season.
Other than having to shake the rust off his skates - he hasn't coached in 11 months - Ferguson said he liked what he saw.
"I was very pleased with the effort, and the intensity level for the first day really surprised me," he said.
"We're not ready to order the championship rings yet, but it was a good start."
Ferguson had the nine former Lynx players he signed in camp, but was missing second-year forward Jake Riddle, who is still on the roster at AHL Portland.
Rookie Cam Ellsworth was the only goaltender to participate for the entire practice, as fellow rookie Chris Levesque had to wait for his equipment to arrive.
Ferguson went to the front office to fill the other net in the first hour. Tom Callahan, director of broadcasting and media relations, and Ben Lesshafft, director of game operations/community relations, put their pads on to help the team.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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