Augusta failed in a comeback attempt in Charleston tonight against the South Carolina Stingrays. After falling behind 3-0, Augusta twice pulled within a goal before falling short 5-3 in their second game of the season. Lightning prospect netminder Riku Helenius again did not play, with Joel Martin stopping 33 of 38 shots. Kevin Quick, who started again tonight, was pointless and finished -1 with 2 shots.
Augusta drops its 2008-09 season opener to Tampa's former ECHL affiliate. Recently assigned goaltender Riku Helenius did not play. Joel Martin allowed 4 goals on only 18 shots. Kevin Quick, who started on the blueline paired with newly acquired defenseman Brock Wilson, was held pointless and -2 with 3 shots.
Former Lightning goaltending prospect Ryan Munce, who signed with Mississippi as a free agent, stopped 39 of 41 Augusta shots enroute to second star honors. Munce picks up where he left off last season as the Sea Wolves goalie. Augusta continues its season Saturday night on the road against the South Carolina Stingrays.
According to a report in the Augusta Chronicle, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned goaltending prospect and 2006 1st round pick Riku Helenius from the AHL's Norfolk Admirals to the ECHL's Augusta Lynx. This move was not unexpected as Helenius had been a healthy scratch for both of Norfolk's season opening games last weekend behind goaltenders Karri Ramo and Mike McKenna.
Helenius joins Tampa defensive prospect Kevin Quick who was reassigned last week, and the Lynx expect Helenius' arrival by as early as noon on Thursday. The Lynx open their 2008-09 season at home Friday night against the Mississippi Sea Wolves.
This season might prove to be a challenge for the Lynx with a relatively young and inexperienced roster comprised of nine rookies and seven more 2nd year pros. No player on the Lynx roster qualifies as an ECHL veteran of 250 professional games.
The Augusta Lynx have announced the signing of former Lightning defensive prospect Art Femenella to an ECHL contract. The 6'7" and 255 lbs defenseman was originally drafted by Tampa in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft while playing for Sioux City in the USHL, but was never signed to a contract by the organization. The mammoth blueliner completed four years with the Vermont Catamounts in 2007, and attended the 2007 Lynx training camp before missing all of the 2007-2008 season with an injury.
"Art is a legitimate heavyweight who doesn't back down from anything," Lynx Director of Hockey Operations and head coach John Marks said. "You obviously can't coach size, but he also has all the tools to be a very good hockey player. Art's physical presence should help him be the kind of player fans grow to love and appreciate."