Originally created 11/11/05

Roster changes welcome team back home



Jamie Johnson was looking forward to playing a game at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center tonight for the first time in almost three weeks.

"We played pretty well at home," he said Monday before the Augusta Lynx Booster Club's golf tournament. "Hopefully we got the fans into it, and hopefully they'll want to come back (tonight)."

Johnson's wait got a little longer Wednesday - the American Hockey League's Iowa Stars recalled the Augusta center - but the rest of the Lynx will take on the Columbia Inferno tonight and the South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday.

"Obviously, losing Jamie wasn't real high on our game plan, but when he signed with Iowa we knew that was going to be a possibility this year," coach Bob Ferguson said.

The Lynx lost one of their leading scorers, but Portland returned forward Jake Riddle; the Anaheim Mighty Ducks assigned center Joel Stepp from Portland; and the Lynx placed forward Ryan Bennett on waivers in additional moves Wednesday. The transactions aren't finished, either.

Ferguson said Thursday that goaltender Jason Wolfe, who made 10 saves in one period of the season opener, will be activated today from injured reserve, which he went on after suffering a groin injury in the first minute of the second period Oct. 21.

Ferguson said he'd decide tonight's starter - between Wolfe and rookie Trevor Cunning - after this morning's skate.

Cunning has started the past three games for the Lynx, and is 1-1-1 with a 2.60 goals against average. Ferguson said he plans to keep three goaltenders - rookie Cam Ellsworth is the third - until he's sure Wolfe is healthy.

Columbia comes to town 3-1-1 on the road, the tie coming in an overtime loss to the Lynx on Oct. 23. The Inferno went 1-1 this past weekend against Pensacola.

After starting the season 2-1-2, the Stingrays have gone 0-3-2 - their last win coming Oct. 30 against Columbia. The Lynx are 1-1 against the Stingrays, with each team winning 4-2 on home ice.

The Lynx return home after a five-game road trip during which they went 1-2-2. They began the season 2-0 at home against the same teams in town this weekend.

"I thought both those games are a good illustration of what we're trying to create," Ferguson said. "Have the team feed off the crowd and the crowd feed off the team, it kind of goes back and forth."

Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or kristy.shonka@augustachronicle.com.

Augusta Lynx Gamenight


WHEN: 7:05 tonight, vs. Inferno; 7:05 Saturday, vs. Stingrays

WHERE: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center

RADIO: WRDW-AM 1630, FM 88.1 inside the civic center

WEBCAST: www.augustalynx.com

TICKETS: Available at the door, by calling (706) 724-4423 or going online at www.ticketmaster.com.

ABOUT THE LYNX

COACH: Bob Ferguson

RECORD: 3-2-2, eight points, tied for third South Division

KEY PLAYER: Veteran forward Sam Ftorek leads the team with three goals; he also has two assists.

ABOUT THE INFERNO

COACH: Ted Dent

RECORD: 5-2-1, 11 points, tied for first South Division

KEY PLAYER: Center David Bonk has three goals and four assists.

ABOUT THE STINGRAYS

COACH: Jason Fitzsimmons

RECORD: 2-4-4, eight points, tied for third South Division

KEY PLAYER: Forward Dave Spina is tied for third in the ECHL with seven goals.