Augusta Lynx coach Bob Ferguson spent most of the third period Wednesday night leaned as far over the boards in front of his bench as possible, yelling.
But not at his team.
Ferguson - and the majority of Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center crowd - were giving the officials an earful, having watched Pensacola score three consecutive power-play goals en route to a 4-1 victory.
"I don't know whether we deserved all the calls against us or not, but I want to emphasize physical play, and it seemed like every time there was a check, we ended up with somebody in the penalty box," Ferguson said.
The Lynx had nine penalties called against them overall - five in the third period. The whistles, several of them questionable, allowed the league's worst power play team to hand Augusta its third loss in a row.
The Lynx are suffering from a short roster, suiting up just nine forwards and five defensemen because of a slew of call-ups.
Augusta (24-28-4) managed just 22 shots against the Ice Pilots, also the league's worst defensive team.
"Right now we're just a very frustrated hockey team," Ferguson said.
"Our guys have played short-handed through a lot of intangibles, on and off the ice, and the frustration really is starting to sink in."
It wasn't the way the Lynx wanted to open a four-game week.
Augusta plays at Greenville on Friday night and Saturday before returning home to face Pensacola again Sunday afternoon.
Augusta remains in sixth place in the South Division, holding on to the final playoff spot with 16 games remaining.
The lone bright spot for the Lynx was forward Anthony Battaglia, whose first-period goal tied the game, 1-1, and preserved an eight-game point streak.
After that, everything seemed to go in favor of Pensacola (19-34-6).
"I've got to give Pensacola credit. They slowed the pace of the game, and we slipped into it," Ferguson said.
Pensacola's Jan Steber scored his second goal of the game on a power-play mark in the second period to break the tie for a 2-1 Ice Pilots advantage.
The bottled-up Lynx began to rake in the penalty calls, and Shaun Landolt scored on almost identical slap shots - both while Pensacola held 5-on-3 advantages - in the third period.
Reach Steve Sanders at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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