Most nights, the kind of effort the Augusta Lynx put forth Friday would be plenty good enough. Unfortunately for them, the effort wasn't the problem.
The Lynx easily outshot and mostly outplayed Charlotte in their first home game in a month but fell 5-2 at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
"That type of effort will win you a lot of hockey games," coach Bob Ferguson said. "But that type of thinking will cost you a lot of games. ... The energy was there; we played hard. But we didn't play a smart hard."
Leading scorer Nicolas Corbeil, after three weeks in the American Hockey League, returned to the lineup for Augusta and brought plenty of spirit with him to the offense.
But the defense and goaltending saw several lapses turn into five goals.
Augusta (19-24-3) gave up three goals in the final 11 minutes of the first period, and rookie Mike Wall allowed five goals on 13 shots in just 24 minutes.
"Hopefully it's just a one-night thing," said Ferguson, whose squad faces defending Kelly Cup champion Trenton tonight. "We really had some brain cramps out there in the first period."
Brian Passmore and Martin Lapointe bookended Charlotte's goals for Augusta's only scores. The Lynx remain sixth in the South Division, with Columbia - just two points behind - also falling Friday.
The Lynx began as the aggressor, crashing the net often. It paid off 7:23 in, as Passmore slammed an Anthony Battaglia rebound past Chris Holt to give Augusta a 1-0 lead.
The Checkers then went to work on knocking down Wall, scoring four goals in their next seven shots.
Rich Kozak banged in a quick shot from the left wall off the pipes to tie it 9:03 in, and Juris Stals scored the first of his two goals six minutes later.
Charlotte went ahead 3-1 when Dusty Jamieson took advantage of a fortunate bounce in the Augusta zone, scoring unassisted with just 52 seconds left in the first period. Thirty-five seconds later, Rory Rawlyk scored in similar fashion for the 4-1 lead.
Stals ended Wall's night with his second goal 3:28 into the second period, scoring high glove-side for a 5-1 Charlotte lead. Wall then was replaced by Jason Wolfe.
Reach Steve Sanders at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.