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Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Amarillo

February 3, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

2/3/06 - AMARILLO GORILLAS (18-17-3) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (17-20-1) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM

LETS TRY AGAIN

The Interstate Batteries I-27 Series continues tonight at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum with the first game of a home-an-home weekend set between the Lubbock Cotton Kings and the Amarillo Gorillas. The two teams attempted a home-and-home series two weeks ago, but the Lubbock end of the home-and-home was postponed due to inadequate playing conditions. The two teams battle to gain ground on Southwest Division leading Odessa, who hosts Tulsa tonight. Odessa is ten standing points ahead of Amarillo and 14 ahead of Lubbock. Lubbock seeks a win to give them consecutive wins for the first time since early December.

THE SERIES

Lubbock leads the Instate Batteries I-27 Series with a 4-2-0 record and is 2-0-0 against Amarillo at home this season. Derek Hahn has four goals and two assists for six points to lead Amarillo and the series in scoring this season, while the Kings are led by several players who have four points. As for the all-time series, it will be the 67th all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Lubbock bringing in a 39-19-8 all-time series record and Amarillo bringing a 27-34-5 all-time series mark. Jan Melichercik (8g,32a) has 40 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 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points.

THE LAST TIME

1/21/06 - A pair of power play goals and a shorthanded goal paced the Amarillo Gorillas to a 4-2 win over the Lubbock Cotton Kings 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.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock will be without defenseman Jason Beatty, who is making his debut tonight with San Antonio of the American Hockey League in Rochester. Amarillo lists a healthy roster coming into tonight.

STANDINGS

Kings - 35 points, 3rd place, 14 points back, Southwest Division. Gorillas - 39 points, 2nd place, 10 points back, Southwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Jan Melichercik 30 points; Emery Olauson 18 goals; Jan Melichercik 24 assists; Paul Fioroni 107 penalty minutes. Gorillas - Derek Hahn 74 points; Derek Hahn 27 goals; Derek Hahn 47 assists; Ryan Shannon 130 penalty minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.0% 12th, Penalty killing: 83.9% 7th. Gorillas - Power play: 17.0% 5th, Penalty killing: 83.7% 8th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - Lance Leslie (10-11-1, 1 SO, 3.35), Tyson Gajda (1-0-0, 0 SO, 3.83). Gorillas - Jaime Vandespyker (5-7-1, 0 SO, 3.17), Shawn Degagne (13-10-2, 1 SO, 3.24)

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Saturday, February 4th 7:00 PM @ Amarillo Gorillas Cal Farley Coliseum

Amarillo - Saturday, February 4th 7:00 PM vs. Lubbock Cotton Kings Cal Farley Coliseum

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