After Friday's 8-2 home loss to the Greenville Grrrowl, Augusta Lynx coach Bob Ferguson looked every bit the part of a frustrated coach.
And he had every right.
Not only was his team playing without eight healthy Canadian players who were deemed ineligible Tuesday for immigrations reasons (a ninth is on injured reserve), three of his 10 remaining skaters got kicked out of the game in the final 11 minutes.
"The three players who got thrown out of the game have to know better," Ferguson said.
Forwards Jake Riddle and Colt King and defenseman Lee Jacobson all got 10-minute misconduct penalties, while King also received a game misconduct. Jacobson's penalty came in addition to an instigator penalty with less than five minutes in the game, which means he is suspended for tonight's game against Charlotte.
"I think we're all frustrated with the situation, and it kind of snowballed tonight," Ferguson said.
The Lynx (6-5-2) also will be without defenseman John Whitwell, who will venture back into a retirement he interrupted Thursday to help his former team. His daughter's first birthday is Sunday.
Lynx forwards Brian Passmore, Joe Pereira, Dan Sullivan, Nicolas Corbeil and Ryan Lang, and defensemen Phil Cole, Martin Lapointe and Steve LeCuyer, along with injured forward Doug Wright, had their petition for temporary employment in the United States denied. The Lynx are working with U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services to get the matter resolved, but the holiday weekend has slowed the process.
"It's one of the most frustrating things I've dealt with in my coaching career," Ferguson said.
Despite having only 12 regular players, the Lynx beat Gwinnett in a shootout Thursday night, with Whitwell, the franchise leader in games played, winning it in the sixth round. Ferguson said after Friday's game that he thought his makeshift team would ride the momentum of the win.
His theory worked until about the midway point of the third period. The Grrrowl (9-4-0) led 3-2 until an altercation behind their net resulted in King's ejection to put the Lynx at a 5-on-3 disadvantage. Greenville scored on the power play, then again 35 seconds later for a 5-2 lead.
It just piled on from there. Riddle got his misconduct penalty after the fifth goal, and about three minutes later it was 6-2. As Jacobson started to fight Adam Nightingale, Tyler Mosienko scored for a 7-2 advantage.
The final blow came on a power play with 3:09 left in the game. The Grrrowl finished 4-for-7 on the power play, while the Lynx were 0-for-4. Greenville outshot Augusta 40-24 and scored on half of its shots in the third period.
"We have to be better tomorrow," Ferguson said.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.