Coming off their longest road stretch of the season, a span of 26 days, the Augusta Lynx knew they needed to start playing catch-up at James Brown Arena.
Behind a strong night from goaltender Nathan Marsters, a dominant second period and some newfound success on the power play, they did just that, beating the Florida Everblades, 5-3.
The Lynx scored three unanswered goals in the middle frame to overcome an early 2-1 deficit, Marsters stopped 29 of 32 shots and Augusta netted a pair of power-play scores against the ECHL's top penalty kill.
Captain Louis Goulet, who recently took over the Lynx's all-time lead in points, and Matt Auffrey each scored a goal and an assist. Matt Christie added two assists for the Lynx (5-5-1, 11 points), who can move to 4-0 at home against the Columbia Inferno tonight.
Augusta's three South Division victories now have come over teams in the top four places, including fourth-place Florida (6-5-0, 12 points), which got two goals from Brad Herauf.
Although Augusta took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period on Will Bodine's power-play drive, the Lynx continued their trend of giving up too many early shots. Florida put 16 of the game's first 19 shots on goal, forcing Marsters to work overtime.
The Everblades broke through 15 seconds after Bodine's goal, when Mathieu Melanson's wrist shot found net. Florida took the lead, 2-1, later in the period on Herauf's rebound of a Brett Peterson shot.
The Lynx really picked up the intensity in the second period, peppering Florida netminder Tyler Plante with a barrage of shots, three of which found net.
Aaron Slattengren tied it, 2-2, with a breakaway goal off a turnover. That was followed by Adrian Veideman's score on a pretty feed from John Laliberte, and Auffrey's power-play marker on a rebound made it 4-2.
Goulet's rebounded goal made it 5-2 in the third period, followed minutes later by Herauf's second goal.
The Everblades showed a little frustration late in the contest, causing several scuffles in front of Marsters.
Reach Steve Sanders at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.
LYNX 5, EVERBLADES 3
First Period: Scoring - 1. Augusta, W. Bodine (1) (M. Christie, M. Auffrey) 10:58 PP 2. Florida, M. Melanson (6) (E. Hartlieb, D. Damon) 11:13 3. Florida, B. Herauf (1) (K. McAllister, B. Peterson) 14:46 Penalties - J. Laliberte Aug (hooking - minor 55.2) 1:17, B. Peterson Fla (hooking - minor 55.2) 9:22, B. Bolt Aug (tripping - minor 57.2) 11:44, J. Coutu Aug (boarding - minor 42.2) 12:19, B. Herauf Fla (high-sticking - minor 60.2) 16:43.
Second Period: Scoring - 4. Augusta, A. Slattengren (6) 6:44 5. Augusta, A. Veideman (2) (J. Laliberte, L. Goulet) 11:39 6. Augusta, M. Auffrey (5) (M. Christie, R. Dingle) 14:48 PP Penalties - S. Czech Fla (tripping - minor 57.2) 7:31, K. McAllister Fla (interference - minor 56.2) 12:43, B. Peterson Fla (holding - minor 54.2) 12:52, B. Herauf Fla (fighting - major 47.13) 17:49, J. Kostadine Aug (fighting - major 47.13) 17:49, J. Laliberte Aug (tripping - minor 57.2) 18:58.
Third Period: Scoring - 7. Augusta, L. Goulet (1) (J. Coutu) 15:33 8. Florida, B. Herauf (2) (B. Roach, D. Cornacchia) 19:00 Penalties - B. Herauf Fla (roughing - minor 51.2) 5:23, B. Bolt Aug (roughing - minor 51.2) 5:23, D. Cornacchia Fla (tripping - minor 57.2) 13:21, D. Cornacchia Fla (charging goaltender in crease minor 43.2) 19:54.
Shots: Florida 32, Augusta 30. Power Play Conversion: Florida 0-4, Augusta 2-7. Goaltenders: Florida--Plante (25 saves), Augusta--Marsters (29 saves).