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Cotton Kiings Gaame Night Preview

December 29, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

12/29/06 - CORPUS CHRISTI RAYZ (12-11-5) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (12-11-2)

- 7:05 PM CITY BANK COLISEUM

LET'S GET IT STARTED

The Lubbock Cotton Kings play their second game of a four-game week tonight and kick off a busy weekend of three-in-three play. Lubbock hosts the Corpus Christi Rayz tonight and heads on the road following the game to Bossier City, Louisiana to face the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Saturday before returning home Sunday to close out the calendar year hosting the Odessa Jackalopes. The Southwest Division is co-led by the Kings, but the division is as jammed pack as the mall the day after Thanksgiving. Only one standing-point separates co-leaders Lubbock and Amarillo from the other three teams in the division entering the game. If Lubbock wants to remain in first, they must obtain standing points tonight since Arizona and New Mexico each play each other tonight. Corpus Christi comes in with a conference best 7-3-5 road record this evening and on a two game winless streak. The Rayz have picked up standing points in ten consecutive road games with a 5-0-5 road mark during the span. Their last regulation loss on the road came on November 10th at Odessa.

THE SERIES

The Cotton Kings host the Corpus Christi Rayz for the first of two visits to the Hub City for the Rayz and the second overall meeting of the season. It will be the 19th all-time meeting and the Rayz lead the season series 1-0-0 (Lubbock is 0-0-1 in the series this season) after a 3-2 shootout win over Lubbock on December 15th. The all-time series is led by Lubbock with a dominate 14-2-2 record against Corpus Christi's 4-11-3 mark in the series. Former Kings forward Jan Melichercik leads the all-time series with 15 points (5g,10a), while the Rayz all-time series leader is former Corpus Christi member Geoff Bumstead, who had 6 assists.

THE LAST TIME

12/15/06 - Kevin Waters' shootout goal in the seventh round of the shootout was the difference, as the Corpus Christi Rayz defeated the Lubbock Cotton Kings 3-2 in overtime. It was their first ever loss inside the American Bank Center (3-0-1).

The Rayz jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:06 into the game with Ryan Carter redirecting a shot by Nicklas Lindberg past J.F. Perras. The Kings ended their season high scoring drought at 87:39 with a goal by Trevor Weisgerber halfway through the period to tie the game at 1-1. Lubbock closed the period with a goal by Jimmy Callahan with 51-seconds remaining to take a 2-1 lead. Mike Carter was able to force the puck in front of the net, where Callahan, waiting at the doorstep of the crease, slammed it past Rayz goaltender Brent Zelenewich for his first goal since November 17th and ninth of the season.

Corpus Christi kept the Kings off the board in the second period and tied the contest up 4:02 into the period with a power play goal. A rebound off a shot from the right circle deflected off the leg pads of Perras right to Watters in the left circle, who fired it past Perras.

After a scoreless third period, the two teams played an eventful overtime. Lubbock received a power play opportunity in overtime, but they surrendered three shorthanded breakaways. Perras was huge in overtime for the Kings, turning away all three breakaways and a total of seven shots in the extra session. The Kings found themselves shorthanded late in overtime and they were able to hold off the Rayz to force the shootout.

The shootout went seven rounds deep, with Lubbock receiving goals from Trevor Weisgerber and Bobby Brown, while the Rayz received shootout tallies from Jason Baird and Carter prior to Watters' game winner.

Perras stopped 40 of 42 shots in the overtime loss and his record drops to 4-4-1. Zelenewich improved his record to 3-4-1 on the season with a 36-save performance. Lubbock struggled on the power play, going scoreless on seven attempts, while the Rayz converted on one of five chances.

ROSTER CHANGES

No roster moves have been made by either club as of press time for tonight's game.

STANDINGS

Kings - 26 points, tied-1st place, Southwest Division.

Rayz - 29 points, 2nd place, 5 points back, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Points: 25 Simon Watson, Goals: 14 Simon Watson, Assists: 12 Several tied, Penalty Minutes: 95 Paul McBrien.

Rayz - Points: 30 Justin Quenneville, Goals: 13 Justin Quenneville, Assists: 20 Jason Baird, Penalty Minutes: 74 Justin Quenneville.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.0% 13th, Penalty killing: 88.1% 3rd.

Rayz - Power play: 12.8% 14th, Penalty killing: 83.1% 11th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - J.F. Perras (6-5-1, 2 SO, 2.49), Kyle Stanton (6-6-1, 1 SO, 3.37).

Rayz - Ron Vogel (8-6-3, 0 SO, 3.09), Brent Zelenewich (4-5-2, 1 SO, 2.65).

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Saturday, December 30th

7:05 PM @ Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs CenturyTel Center

Corpus Christi - Saturday, December 30th

7:00 PM @ Odessa Jackalopes Ector County Coliseum

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