It had been three weeks since Augusta Lynx fans saw their team in action. A road trip that began after a Jan. 12 home game finally came to an end Friday night.
So did their two-game winning streak as the Pensacola Ice Pilots knocked off the Lynx 2-1 at James Brown Arena.
The announced crowd of 2,958 was looking for one of the many come-from-behind victories the Lynx have produced on their home ice this season.
Instead, the home team failed to convert on eight power play opportunities.
The final attempt, a 6-on-4 situation when Lynx goalkeeper Gerald Coleman was pulled with a minute left, never materialized after the Lynx were whistled for their ninth penalty of the night.
Pensacola (9-30-1-3) snapped a five-game losing streak with the one-goal victory.
The Ice Pilots took the lead 8 minutes into the game on a power play goal off the stick of Erik Fabian.
The Lynx tied the game with 7:30 left in the second period. Forward Will Bodine created enough traffic in the middle for teammate James Brannigan to slide a pass to a cutting Igor Pohanka. The Lynx forward beat Pensacola goaltender Cam Ellsworth glove-side on the Lynx's 22nd shot of the game.
The two teams skated through most of the third period still knotted in a 1-1 tie, and the Lynx threatened on a power play midway through the period.
Instead, as the man advantage ended, Pensacola's Mathieu Roy stepped out of the penalty box just in time to take a pass from teammate Joel Stepp.
Roy beat Coleman with a hard slap shot for the deciding goal with 9:16 left in the game.
The Lynx (23-19-0-3) remained in fifth place in the ECHL's South Division standings with 49 points.
They will have to wait just 24 hours to get a chance to avenge the loss. The teams face off again tonight at 7:05 at James Brown Arena.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org