Cotton Kings Claim 6-5 Roller-Coaster Win to Sweep Season Series with Rio Grande Valley
Hidalgo, TX - Ross McCain's first professional goal stood as the game winning goal with 1:21 remaining, as the Lubbock Cotton Kings bounced back from a 2-0 deficit and held on to a 5-2 lead for a 6-5 win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees Saturday night. The win improves the Kings record to 4-2-0 and gives them a 2-0-0 season series sweep over the Killer Bees.
McCain's goal silenced the 4,790 faithful at the Dodge Arena after they were on their feet in excitement of the Bees' feat. The Bees were trailing 5-2 after a third period goal by Lubbock's Simon Watson (1:59 into the period), but they collected a trio of goals to eventually tie the game with 2:10 remaining. Matt Reynolds scored a pair of goals 14:59 apart with a goal by Maxime Mathieu sandwiched in between in the Bees comeback bid.
Lubbock, with a comeback of their own when trailing 2-0 heading into the second period, exploded in the second period scoring four goals. Philippe Lacasse started the offense redirecting a Jason Beatty wrist shot from the blueline 4:13 into the period on the power play. Just 27-seconds later, Jimmy Callahan capped off an impressive play by Mike Carter, who drew the Bees defense, by taking a feed from Carter and slipping the puck past Bees goaltender Mathieu Blanchard. With 4:48 remaining in the period, Corey Rutt gave the Kings their first lead as he skated into the zone, shook past a defender, dropped to a knee, and wristed a shot past Blanchard while sliding in the slot for a 3-2 lead. Callahan picked up his second goal of the game 1:57 later with a blast from the low-point for a 4-2 lead.
The Bees took the early advantage, registering a pair of goals in the opening period. Ryan Carrigan netted a wrist shot on the power play past a screened Kyle Stanton 8:48 into the game, and then Joe Casey recorded his first professional goal 2:14 later for the 2-0 advantage. Lubbock had opportunities of their own in the opening period, but couldn't benefit off a 5-on-3 power play advantage.
Callahan tied career highs in goals with two (sixth time on his career) and points with 3 (third time in his career), leading the Kings offensively in the game. Kyle Stanton improves his goaltending record to 3-1-0 as he stopped 34 of 39 shots in the victory. Blanchard suffered his first loss of the season, allowing 6 goals on 29 shots faced.
Lubbock will take a two-game winning streak to New Mexico on Thursday in a battle with the New Mexico Scorpions before returning home to host Amarillo (Friday) and Rocky Mountain (Saturday) at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.
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