While many people probably had a party or went out with friends to celebrate their birthdays this year, Jason Wolfe strapped on his goalie gear and got attacked by pucks for 60 minutes.
Wolfe, who celebrated his 28th birthday Saturday by starting in the net for the Augusta Lynx, stopped 42 shots for a 3-1 win against the Charlotte Checkers at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
The Lynx (7-5-2) recovered from an 8-2 thrashing Friday night by the Greenville Grrrowl to win their second game in three nights despite being without eight healthy regular players.
The nine Canadian players (one is injured) who were deemed temporarily ineligible Tuesday as a result of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' ruling are expecting to be allowed to play next week.
David Maracle, one of seven players signed to fill in until they are eligible, recorded the game-winner when he banged home a rebound at the 9:07 mark of the second period.
After Wolfe and the Lynx defense managed to fend off several point-blank shots and put-back attempts, the Lynx found themselves in a similar situation in front of Charlotte goaltender Pat Berrigan. The Checkers (7-5-1) kept the first three or four attempts out of the net, but Maracle, who had just three games of ECHL experience that all came in the 2000-01 season, finally got the puck through a seam for his first goal.
Maracle scored his second goal one period later on a feed from Colt King to give the Lynx a 3-1 lead.
From there it seemed to be an all-out attack on Wolfe, who got some help from his teammates clearing potentially dangerous rebounds.
Lynx defenseman Eric Lundberg, whose brother Brennan is one of the fill-ins, nearly made it 4-1 when he practically ran into the puck coming out of the penalty box, but defenseman Ryan Glenn made a nice play to get the puck away from Lundberg before he could shoot.
Forward Joel Stepp put the Lynx on the board first when he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone that was intended for Rory Rawlyk. Stepp took off with the puck and beat Berrigan for a 1-0 lead at the 2:18 mark. It was the Lynx's first shot of the game and came on a penalty kill.
The Lynx kept the lead for nearly 13 minutes until Mike Bayrack ripped the puck through Jason Wolfe's legs from the left faceoff circle to tie the game. The Checkers' goal came after the Lynx were unable to get to a rebound that lay waiting, inches from the goal line. Charlotte out-shot Augusta 17-7 in the period.
NOTE: Lynx players King and Lee Jacobson were in the lineup Saturday night because the penalties they drew in Friday's game, which could result in suspension, were under review by the ECHL.
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