Originally created 09/19/06

New-look squad must rely on youthful energy



Augusta Lynx center forward Louis Goulet will be one of the most experienced players on the team when the ECHL season opens Oct. 20.

He's 27.

Coach Bob Ferguson has gone out this summer and chalked up a roster full of mostly young talent, which will be long on energy and spirit, he says, but short on experience.

That's where guys like Goulet will have to step in.

"Bob said I'd be one of the older guys on the team, which is a little bit of a change because not too long ago I was considered one of the younger ones," said Goulet, who played 70 games for the Lynx in the 2004-05 season.

"But I've spent some time playing with some older guys, some guys with NHL experience, and I learned a lot from them. So hopefully I can teach some of those things to the younger guys," he added.

Ferguson and the Lynx have announced 16 signings so far, after 24-year-old forward Jay Latulippe and 20-year-old defenseman Nick Van Herpt joined the roster last week.

The average age of the current roster, which reports to camp Oct. 7, is 24.06. Eight players are 23 or younger.

In addition, Ferguson expects to receive a couple of first- or second-year prospects from the parent Anaheim Ducks of the NHL.

"I anticipate we will be one of the younger teams in the league," Ferguson said Monday. "And I'm OK with that. Youth and enthusiasm and emotion can take you a long way. I really feel that with the new changes, that's the type of hockey that's going to win at this level."

Ferguson said he would like to add another center forward, the team's thinnest position, and an experienced defenseman to the roster before he receives players from the Ducks and the Portland (Maine) Pirates of the American Hockey League.

Anaheim opened camp Friday, and Portland's opens today.

"A lot of the players we're talking to will find out in the next week or two whether they're available to us or not," Ferguson said.

The Lynx begin the season Oct. 20, but the team will play preseason games Oct. 14 against Gwinnett and Oct. 15 against Columbia.

"I'm getting excited," Goulet said. "I can't wait to get going. It's a brand new year, and everybody's in first place to start. It's great to be back with the Lynx."

NOTES: After two seasons with the Lynx as the team's equipment manager, Gord "Spud" Hamilton has accepted the same position with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. Augusta has named John Sellars as his successor.

Reach Steve Sanders at (706) 823-3216 or steven.l.sanders@augustachronicle.com.

IMPORTANT DATES


Oct. 4: NHL and AHL seasons open


Oct. 7: Lynx players report to camp


Oct. 9: Lynx camp opens, after which roster must consist of 20 players


*Oct. 14: Lynx preseason game vs. Gwinnett Gladiators, 7:35 p.m.


*Oct. 15: Lynx preseason game vs. Columbia Inferno, 4 p.m.


Oct. 20: Lynx season opens: Columbia at Augusta, 7:35 p.m.


Oct. 21: Gwinnett at Augusta, 7:35 p.m.

*At Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center; proceeds benefit community charity program It's Spooky To Be Hungry; fans are asked to bring a nonperishable food item as a donation.

YOUNG ROSTER

Player Age
Forwards
Jay Latulippe 24
Ryan Lang 26
Louis Goulet 27
Joe Pereira 26
Jon Landry 23
Joe Cardarelli 29
Matt Radoslovich 23
Jason Kostadine 22
Defensemen
Nick Van Herpt 20
Will Bodine 24
Jeff Mason 25
Phil Cole 24
Eric Lundberg 23
Mathieu Wathier 23
Matt McNeely 23
Goaltender
Brett Jaeger 23