Lynx face crucial road trip

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The red-hot Augusta Lynx drop the puck on their longest road stretch of the year tonight, a critical six-game span that will close out January.

Augusta has won four consecutive games and eight of its past 10 - all those wins came at home - entering tonight's contest at the Columbia Inferno.

Coming off this week's ECHL All-Star Game break, the Lynx face Columbia again Tuesday before four consecutive games against North Division opponents Trenton, Johnstown, Wheeling and Dayton.

Lynx coach Bob Ferguson said the team will need to focus on the little things that sometimes get lost at home, particularly during winning streaks.

"Sometimes you can get away with not doing the little things - winning faceoffs, finishing checks, staying out of the penalty box - at home. You have to do those things on the road," Ferguson said.

The Lynx (20-18-0), sixth in the South Division by three points, began the season 9-4 on the road but have lost five in a row away from home.

They'll try to stop that slide against the seventh-place Inferno, who are 14-19-4 on the year but 4-0-1 against Augusta. The Inferno have lost three of their past four and are 5-10-2 at home.

Tonight's game is Augusta's only contest this week.

"This stretch will help us heal up some of the bumps and bruises," Ferguson said. "But with only one game to focus on this week, you want to take advantage of getting points when you can."

Improvement has come in nearly every measurable category in recent weeks for the Lynx, whose offense, defense, goaltending and special teams have been playing well.

Forward Garrett Bembridge, who scored four goals and five points in 12 previous games for the Lynx, is expected to be reassigned to Augusta from affiliate Portland of the AHL for today's game.

Augusta also is looking forward to the return from injury of Shane Hynes and defenseman Jason Platt.

All-star forward Ryan Lang, having scored points in 10 consecutive games, is one point and one goal shy of setting career highs in those categories.

Lang, an American Conference starter in Wednesday's all-star game, assisted on Brad Schell's first-period goal.

Lang finished with four shots and an even rating as the American Conference defeated the National Conference 6-3 in Boise, Idaho.

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


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