The Augusta Lynx, winless in their past four games, hope a change of scenery this week will help turn around their recent struggles.
Augusta steps out of South Division play for four games up North, starting Wednesday at Dayton. The trip continues Thursday and Saturday at Cincinnati and concludes Sunday at Wheeling, wrapping up an eight-game road stretch.
After falling 6-3 at Columbia on Friday night, the Lynx dropped to 2-3-1 and sit seventh in the division with five points, nine behind first-place Gwinnett.
"It's unfortunate that this little road stretch probably will define what we are going to be the rest of the year," Lynx coach Bob Ferguson said. "Are we going to be a contender, up near the top of the division, or will we be playing catch-up the rest of the year?"
The Lynx have been outscored 16-7 in their past four games, all losses on the road.
"We've got to learn how to win on the road," Ferguson said. "Any time you go through a stretch like this, you feel good about going .500, and we've still got that chance."
The team is eager for some variety as well, and the North Division trip should help.
"We need to play some different people," Ferguson said. "We'll get on the road and maybe see if we can get to know each other a little better, do a little more bonding and turn this trip into something positive."
POWER OUTAGE: Augusta has been outshot 221-174 on the season, including an 81-44 difference in the first period. The Lynx rank last in the ECHL in shots allowed per game, with a 36.83 average.
Also, Augusta is 24th out of 25 teams on the power play, at 4-for-44 (9.1 percent).
Ferguson said the power play looked a lot better Friday, including four early chances, but the team hasn't been able to finish.
The Lynx have been outscored 14-7 in the first two periods, while outscoring opponents 9-6 in the third period.
The team ranks sixth on the penalty kill at 88.2 percent (45-for-51).
TRANSACTIONS: The Lynx released left wings Garrett Winder and Jason Bloomingburg last week and added left wing Grant Goeckner-Zoeller .
Forwards Matt Christie and Bobby Dolt are expected to be added to Augusta's roster today from AHL affiliate Portland.
IN NET: The Lynx still have three goaltenders: Nathan Marsters , Dave McKee and J.P. Levasseur . Ferguson said he will try to play all three this week.
STUCK ON 220: Captain Louis Goulet , who tallied three assists in the season opener, hasn't scored a point since. He remains tied for the Lynx all-time career point-scoring record with 220 points.
Reach Steve Sanders at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.