Originally created 11/17/06

Lynx are true road warriors



Having played nine of their past 10 games on the road, the Augusta Lynx have gotten quite familiar with the inside of their bus in recent weeks.

Still, that isn't much comfort going into a 14-hour, 860-mile trip - one way.

The Lynx left Augusta on Wednesday at 9 p.m. for Beaumont, Texas, where they will face the Texas Wildcatters tonight and Saturday. They arrived at Ford Arena at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

So, how do you spend 14 hours on a bus?

"Guys play cards, guys watch movies, guys watch hockey games and guys sleep. That's about it," coach Bob Ferguson said. "There isn't much that registers on the fun-meter."

Lately, the return trips haven't been so bad.

Augusta (7-5-0, 14 points) has won three in a row on the road and five of its past six away from James Brown Arena, moving up to fourth in the South Division. Just two points behind division-leading Florida, the Lynx look to continue the streak at fifth-place Texas (6-2-1, 13 points).

Augusta leads the ECHL in road victories with six, two more than the next closest team.

"Other than maybe three periods this entire season, I like the way the guys have competed (in the road games), and that's translated into some victories," Ferguson said. "All I can ask is that the guys compete every night, and other than a couple of periods, they've done that."

This weekend's games close out a stretch of 11 of 12 on the road for the Lynx, who have been consistently productive on offense and have continued to improve defensively.

Thanks in large part to the surprising play of rookie goaltender Dave McKee, Augusta has allowed five goals in its past three games. McKee (7-2-0) took his league-best third shootout victory in Tuesday's 4-3 decision at South Carolina.

"I like where we're at, but we've still got four pretty tough road games coming up, and these two this weekend won't be easy for us," Ferguson said. "Texas is a quality team."

The Wildcatters are led by Kevin Baker, who is second in the league in goals with 10.

For Augusta, Ryan Lang and Jamie John-son have been hot on offense, accounting for six goals and 13 points in the last three games. Johnson has a league-best nine-game points streak on the road.

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