Originally created 12/19/06

Coach frustrated by losing streak



The Augusta Lynx need to return to the aggressive style of play they exhibited in the first month of the season, coach Bob Ferguson said after this past weekend's pair of losses.

The Lynx blew two-goal leads in each defeat, a 6-5 defeat to Florida on Friday and a 5-3 loss to Charlotte on Saturday night.

"The first 20 games of the season, we were playing to win," Ferguson said after Friday's game, which saw the Lynx lead 5-3 going into the third period. "It almost seems we're playing not to lose, and good teams sense that"

The Lynx (12-15-0) have lost four in a row and eight of their past 10 after starting the season 10-7. They were a victory out of first place three weeks ago.

Augusta will look to get back on track by returning to the road, where the team has had most of its success this season, on Wednesday at South Carolina.

The Lynx are 9-6 away from home and 3-9 at James Brown Arena after their third consecutive home loss Saturday night.

Defense has been Augusta's glaring problem. The Lynx have allowed five or more goals in seven of their past 10 games, and they've given up a league-worst 111 goals this season.

"I can't fault the effort. I can't fault the emotion. We've just got to find ways to win these games," Ferguson said.

BRINGING SMILES: Augusta goaltender Dave McKee and forwards Jamie Johnson, Ryan Lang and Mike Erickson joined mascot Louie the Lynx at Doctors Hospital on Monday afternoon to distribute toys.

They handed out more than 300 toys and teddy bears to children in the pediatric and burn units.

The presents were donated by fans during a Teddy Bear Toss promotion at Saturday's game.

TRADING SPACES: Goaltender Brett Jaeger, an all-star last season with Fresno of the Pacific Division, wasn't having very much success with Augusta this season.

He was among the ECHL's loss leaders with a 1-8 record, and he averaged 4.24 goals against in 11 games.

Ferguson said that when the opportunity to acquire goalie Mike Brodeur came up, the decision to trade Jaeger was made.

Jaeger was traded to Long Beach on Thursday for considerations, and Brodeur (14-8-2, 2.58 goals against average last season with Greenville) was assigned to Augusta from the Chicago Blackhawks organization.

"We might have put too much pressure on Brett coming in here. He got off to a slow start and never broke out," Ferguson said.

The Lynx also traded defenseman Derrick Byfuglien on Friday to Pensacola for future considerations in a move Ferguson said was based solely on roster space.

OTHER WIRE NEWS: Forwards Garrett Bembridge and Myles Zimmer were recalled to the affiliate Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League before Saturday's game.

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

WHERE THEY STAND


The Lynx rank 17th in the 25-team ECHL standings with 24 points. Here's how they stack up in some other categories through 27 games:

Power play: No. 17

(33-for-223, 14.8 percent)


Penalty kill: No. 25

(148-for-192, 77.1 percent)


Penalty minutes: No. 22

(534, 19.8 avg.)


Goals for: No. 14

(91, 3.37 avg.)


Goals against: No. 24

(111, 4.11 avg.)


Shots for: No. 3

(949, 35.15 avg.)


Shots against: No. 17

(918, 34.0 avg.)