Augusta came back from an early 1-0 deficit, scoring three straight goals and Riku Helenius stopped 29 of 31 shots to seal the victory 3-2 over the Reading Royals. The Lynx improved to a record of 3-2-1 atop the American South Division. Kevin Quick was pointless, and finished -1 with 3 shots. Justin Keller, who scored 3 goals in his first two games with Augusta, was not in the lineup against the Royals, raising suspicions that he might have already been recalled back to Norfolk.
Augusta next plays on Oct 31 in Charlotte, NC against the Checkers.
Kevin Quick scored his first professional goal and Justin Keller added two markers of his own including a short-handed tally to lead an impressive Augusta comeback to defeat Elmira 5-3. Quick added a power-play assist and was +4 on the night. Keller's two goal effort earned him FIRST STAR honors behind a game-high 7 shots. The first half of the game was all Elmira as the Jackals went up 3-0 on the Lynx. Augusta would battle back in the second half of the game with 5 unanswered goals, kick-started by Patrick Bordaleau's power play goal assisted by Quick. Keller followed with his two goals to even the score, before Quick's game-winner gave the Lynx their first lead of the night. Riku Helenius yielded the pipes tonight to Joel Martin, but is expected to return to action Sunday afternoon against the Reading Royals.
Justin Keller wasted no time in his bid for a recall to Norfolk by scoring Augusta's first goal of the night, just 9 minutes into the first period. The Lynx fell short of victory in their first ever game against the Jackals, losing to Elmira in an OT heartbreaker. Riku Helenius stopped 24 of 28 shots. Kevin Quick was pointless, and finished -1 with 2 shots and 4 PIMs.
Augusta tangles with Elmira again on Saturday night.
The Norfolk Admirals have reassigned Lightning prospect forward Justin Keller to the Augusta Lynx of ECHL. Keller, on the third year of his entry level contract, has registered 1 assist in 3 games for the Admirals this season. Keller was Norfolk's representative at last season's AHL All-Star game, finishing the season third on the team in goals and fourth in points.
The 6â€™0â€, 181-pound forward from Nelson, British Columbia was an 8th round draft pick of the Lightning in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, making his pro debut in 2006-07 with the AHLâ€™s Springfield Falcons. His 13 goals, 4 power play goals and 24 points led all Springfield rookies. In 132 career American Hockey League games, Keller has scored 28 goals and added 34 assists for 62 points with 71 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Keller played three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. In 216 games with Kelowna, Keller scored 107 goals and 80 assists. He led the WHL with 51 goals in 2005-06 and scored the Memorial Cup winning goal with the Rockets in 2004.
Keller's addition to the Lynx should result in an immediate impact on Augusta's offense, as Keller has a sniper's touch and a willingness to play in the high traffic areas.
A big win for a young team.
Jonathan Boutin stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win to break a personal seven game losing streak. The win also helped Boutin raise his save percentage back to .900 for the season. It's been a roller coaster ride all year for Boutin as he seems to win and lose games in month long streaks. At one point a little over a month ago he seemed to be coming into his own showing a winning record and a save percentage above .910. Unfortunately he hasn't shown the ability to step up and win games on his own in the last month, which is the next big hurdle he has to get over in his professional development. The legitimate starters don't post 7 game losing streaks. They find a way to pull out wins even when the team in front of them struggles. Boutin isn't quite to that point yet.
NOR Wanvig, (21) (Tyrell, Crowley), 1:38
BNG Dimitrakos, (20) (Kinch, Smith), 17:48
NOR Keller, (15) (Schneider, Segal), 7:46
BNG Hennessy, (22) (Carkner, Zubov), 10:10
NOR Wanvig, (22) (Tyrell, Jones), 1:38
Kyle Wanvig and Justin Keller were named the game's first and second stars.
With the win, Norfolk matches the win total set a year ago by the Lightning farmhands in Springfield of 28. They've also accumulated 4 more points than the Falcons did last season. The importance of hitting this milestone cannot be underestimated, in my opinion. It would have been a terrible blow to the organization if the move to Norfolk and the time spent developing their prospects hadn't shown any measure of improvement on the ice. Modest as it may be, these Admirals have gotten better compared to last year's Falcons, and they'll have one more swing at besting last year's win total tomorrow night against the Pens. It'll be a tough nut to crack against the division leaders, but it would be a heck of a way to end the season if the Ads could pull off one more big upset to head into the offseason on a high note.
Box score from TheAHL.com.