Beatty Up, Leslie Retiring... Kings Weekly Notes
FOR THE WEEK OF Mar. 20 - Mar. 26th
RAMPAGE ON THE "BEAT" AGAIN
For a second time this season, the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage, which serves as the top affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, have recalled Lubbock Cotton Kings defenseman Jason Beatty. The move was made Monday and will more than likely bring the Sturgis, Saskatchewan native's season to a close with the Kings. In 55 games with the Kings this season, Beatty has a goal and 11 assists for a career best 12 points. Beatty was voted as the third "Best Fighter" in the CHL's Best of the Best Poll. In February, Beatty received a call-up to San Antonio and appeared in five games with the Rampage and served two minutes in the box with no offensive numbers. Beatty joins San Antonio Wednesday in Chicago, as the Rampage are playing the second game of a seven-game road trip, which mostly consists of games in the Midwest.
SO LONG SIR LANCE
Lubbock opens the week in Wichita Wednesday with a goaltender that has history with both teams. Lubbock goaltender Lance Leslie will be completing his 12th season of pro hockey, seventh in the CHL/WPHL and fourth with the Kings this weekend. He announced Monday night on the Cotton Kings Call-in Show that this season will mark his final season. Leslie is seven games shy of 500 games played in his pro career and three games shy of 300 in his WPHL/CHL tenure. The Dawson Creek, BC native and the CHL's most experienced active goaltender (if not in all minor pro hockey) spent his first CHL seasons (beginning in 98/99) playing two seasons with the Wichita Thunder. He still holds a share of a Thunder single-season record, as he had three shutouts in 99/00 with the Thunder. During his tenure with the Kings, Leslie is 81-51-17 in 157 appearances and has seven shutouts.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
The Lubbock Cotton Kings were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday with the combination of the Kings 5-4 overtime loss in Amarillo and Rio Grande Valley's win over Memphis. Lubbock went 1-1-2 in their four games last week, winning in Rio Grande Valley Tuesday, losing to Fort Worth Friday and then dropping a pair of overtime contests in a weekend home-and-home with Amarillo, and now prepare for another four-game week. The Kings will start their busy week Wednesday in Wichita and then will move onto to Oklahoma City Friday before returning home for their home finale Saturday and their final game of the season Sunday in Amarillo. Three of the four games have playoff implications riding on them. Wichita and Oklahoma City are each battling over Northern Conference playoff positioning, as the two clubs enter the week separated by three standing-points. Amarillo enters this week three standing-points behind Rio Grande Valley (with a game-in-hand) for the final spot in the Southern Conference playoff race.
"HEROES & LEGACIES" COTTON KINGS "HERO OF THE WEEK"
Each week a member of the Cotton Kings is selected as the "Heroes & Legacies Hero of the Week" for their performance in the previous week's games, and this week's recipient for their effort last week is rookie forward Jon Foster. The University of Denver product produced four point in the week's four games, combining for a pair of goals and assists. Foster's big output came in Lubbock's 5-4 SO loss in Amarillo Saturday. He had a career best three points with his two-goal game of his career and he also assisted on Jan Melichercik's game tying goal to force overtime. Foster closed the weekend picking up an assist Sunday in the Kings 3-2 OT loss to Amarillo. The Kings forward leads the team in points over the past five games, combining for three goals and two assists for five points.
THIS WEEK'S "INSIDE THE NUMBERS"
4 - Players - The Lubbock Cotton Kings had 8 players appear in all 60 games last season, but this season they have had only four players that have been able to appear in all 60 games played so far (Jan Melichercik, Kyle Nosan, Matt Macdonald and Nolan Brown).
10.3% - Power Play Percentage - The Lubbock Cotton Kings power play has suffered in divisional games, as the Kings have combined 10 for 154 on power play opportunities in combined games against Amarillo and Odessa.
8- Comeback Attempts - Lubbock co-leads the CHL in third period comebacks, as they have been able to garner at least one standing-point in 8 games when trailing after the second period of play this season.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Mar. 14 @ Rio Grande Valley W 3-2 Top Star: LUB - Bobby Brown (2g,1a, 3 pts.)
Mar. 17 vs Fort Worth Brahmas L 1-5 Top Star: FTW - Larry Sterling (49 saves)
Mar. 18 @ Amarillo Gorillas OTL(so) 4-5 Top Star: AMA - Derek Hahn (ot so gw goal)
Mar. 19 vs Amarillo Gorillas OTL(ot) 2-3 Top Star: AMA - Ryan Shannon (ot gw goal)
PRACTICE TIMES: No practice times, as the team will be on the road... Team departs Tuesday morning at 10AM
Wed. Mar. 22 7:05 pm @ Wichita Thunder Radio: KKAM 1340 AM TV: NONE
Notes: The Cotton Kings start their final week of the season Wednesday night in Wichita, where the Cotton Kings are 0-1-1 all-time. The Kings last visit to the Kansas Coliseum was on 12/5/03. Wichita has dominated the all-time series (6-1-0) and this is the only meeting of the season. Lubbock is 1-4-2 all-time against the Thunder. Kings Head Coach Chris Dashney and goaltender Lance Leslie are former members of the Thunder.
Fri. Mar. 24 7:35 pm @ Oklahoma City Blazers Radio: KFYO 790 AM TV: CHLTV.COM
Notes: Lubbock will continue Northern Conference play Friday as they travel into Oklahoma City. This is the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season, and the second of two scheduled in Oklahoma City. OKC has the Kings number, winning 9 of the 11 all-time meetings, but the Kings won in their last visit to OKC (5-2) on 2/7. Marty Standish has 5 assists to lead the Blazers in the series offensively this season. Bobby Brown leads Lubbock in the season series with five points (1g,4a). Lubbock's all-time series leader against Oklahoma City is Paul Fioroni (1g,4a), Jan Melichercik (2g,3a) and Bobby Brown (1g,4a) who each have 5 points, while Oklahoma City's all-time leader is retired Hardy Sauter, who had three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 8 games.
Sat. Mar. 25 7:05 pm vs. Odessa Jackalopes Radio: KFYO 790 AM TV: CHLTV.COM
Notes: The Cotton Kings make the long overnight trip home to host the Odessa Jackalopes for the final home game of the season. The Odessa Jackalopes and Lubbock Cotton Kings face off for the 12th and final time this season and for the 70th meeting all-time. It is the sixth game of the season series in Lubbock, where the Kings are 2-4-0 in the series this season and 15-14-3 all-time against Odessa. The overall season series is led by Odessa 8-2-1 this season. Jan Melichercik (1g,9a) has ten points to lead the season series offensively for the Kings, while Odessa's Sebastien Thinel (8g,9a) has 17 points for Odessa against the Kings . Lubbock is 24-40-5 all-time against the Jacks', while Odessa is 45-20-4 against the Kings in the all-time series. Odessa's Scott Hillman is the all-time series scoring leader with 10 goals and 46 assists for 56 points. Jan Melichercik is the Cotton Kings all-time leader in scoring against Odessa with 43 points (16g,27a). The Cotton Kings will auction off jerseys throughout and after the game.
Sun. Mar. 26 6:00 pm @ Amarillo Gorillas Radio: KFYO 790 AM TV: CHLTV.COM
Notes: The Kings close the season on the road against their I-27 rivals, the Amarillo Gorillas in a game presented by Interstate Batteries. The Cotton Kings are 5-3-1 on Sundays, 12-9-4 with no days rest and 4-1-2 on the third day of three games in three nights this season. Amarillo leads the series with a 8-4-1 record, while the Kings are 5-4-4 in the series and 2-2-2 in Amarillo this season. Derek Hahn has 8 goals and 11 assists for 19 points to lead Amarillo and the series in scoring this season, while the Kings are led by four players, who each have 8 points. As for the all-time series, it will be the 74th all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Lubbock bringing in a 40-21-12 all-time series record and Amarillo bringing a 33-35-5 all-time series mark. Jan Melichercik (10g,34a) has 44 points against Amarillo in his career to stand as the all-time leader in scoring against Amarillo for the Kings. Amarillo's all-time leader in scoring against Lubbock is Hahn, who all-time has 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points.
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