Amarillo "Mark"s Up 4-2 Win over Lubbock with Special Teams
Amarillo, TX - A pair of power play goals and a shorthanded goal paced the Amarillo Gorillas to a 4-2 win over the Lubbock Cotton Kings Saturday night at the Cal Farley Coliseum. It was only the second win of the season in the series for Amarillo, as the Cotton Kings continue to lead the Interstate Batteries I-27 Series with a 4-2-0 record.
Lubbock was 0 for 3 on the power play in the opening period and their first opportunity also ended with a shorthanded goal for the Gorillas. Amarillo took the opening lead 4:49 into the period with Derek Hahn attracting three Kings defenders and dropping a pass to an unattended Mark DeSantis, who took a stride into the right circle and roofed a shot past Lubbock goaltender Brett Koscielny. With 7:56 remaining in the period, Lubbock veteran Bobby Brown took a loose puck in the right slot and wristed it underneath the crossbar for his eighth goal of the season. Amarillo received their only power play opportunity late in the frame and converted it with a backdoor goal by Trevor Read, who received a feed from Keith Rowe. Read's goal, tallied with 21.6-seconds remaining, was his first of the season and it gave the Gorillas a 2-1 lead through the first period. Lubbock was without Nolan Graham much of the period, as he received a high stick from Hahn 18-seconds into the game and did not return until the second period.
The second period was full of power play opportunities, but neither team could convert on their chances. Amarillo was 0 for 4 on the power play and missed out on a lengthy 5-on-3 session, while Lubbock was 0 for 3 on the power play in the period. The Kings out-shot the Gorillas 15-11 in the scoreless period.
Lubbock's Jan Melichercik had the puck in his own end during the third period and fellow defenseman Stacey Bauman lost an edge and fell to the ice, sliding into Melichercik knocking the puck free. Scott Wray grabbed the puck for Amarillo and fired it over to a falling Joe Guenther, who was able to get a shot off and into the net with 5:56 remaining. Lubbock was able to get back in the game and cut the Amarillo lead to 3-2 2:47 later with a goal by Jon Foster, but Amarillo extended the lead back to a two-goal margin with 31-seconds remaining with a power play goal by DeSantis.
On the night, Lubbock was 0 for 7 on the power play, while Amarillo cashed in on two of their seven opportunities. Goaltender Jaime Vandespyker received the game's top honor, stopping 38 of 40 shots for the victory in his first appearance against the Cotton Kings this season and his first appearance in January for the Gorillas. Amarillo out-shot the Kings 41-40, with Koscielny stopping 37 of the 41 shots. The Kings record drops to 16-18-1, but they did not lose any ground in the Southwest Division, since Odessa lost 2-1 in Youngstown.
Lubbock and Amarillo close out the home-and-home weekend series Sunday evening at 5:05 PM with a tilt inside the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.
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