Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Amarillo
2/25/06 - AMARILLO GORILLAS (24-21-3) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (20-25-3) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM
GAME OF CHASE
The Interstate Batteries I-27 Series continues tonight at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum with the first game of a two-game home series for the Kings and Gorillas. Lubbock is seeking to end a five-game home winless streak against the team which started the Kings home troubles. Amarillo's 2-1 shootout win over Lubbock on February 3rd was the Kings first home loss of the current streak. This is an important series for the Kings, who enter tonight's game 8 standing points behind Amarillo for the final playoff spot in the Southern Conference. The Gorillas come in winless in their previous two games.
Lubbock leads the series with a 4-2-2 record and is 2-0-1 against Amarillo at home this season. Derek Hahn has 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 points to lead Amarillo and the series in scoring this season, while the Kings are led by Mike Brolsma's 6 points (3g,3a). As for the all-time series, it will be the 69th all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Lubbock bringing in a 39-19-10 all-time series record and Amarillo bringing a 29-34-5 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 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points.
THE LAST TIME
1/25/06 - Jaime Vandespyker stopped 35 of 36 shots and Jon Foster's shootout effort in the fifth round of the shootout, to preserve a 2-1 overtime victory for the Amarillo Gorillas over the Lubbock Cotton Kings at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. Lubbock's overall record moves to 17-20-2 and they still lead the Interstate Batteries I-27 Series with a 4-2-1 record.
After a scoreless first period in which the Cotton Kings out-shot the Gorillas 13-5 and closed the period grabbing 12 of the final 13 shots fired, the Gorillas opened the scoring late in the second period. Derek Hahn split the Kings defense and stabbed the puck through the five-hole of Kings goaltender Lance Leslie for his 28th goal of the season. The goal, scored with 1:52 remaining in the period, ended Hahn's scoreless streak at five games.
Lubbock came back in the third period and tied the contest up at 1-1 7:01 into the frame with a goal by defenseman Ryan Moren. Moren picked up a chipped pass on the left side and worked his way alone on net and beat Vandespyker with a wrist shot through his left side. Lubbock received a power play opportunity with 15-seconds remaining in regulation and had several solid scoring chances, but Vandespyker made the important saves to force the game into a shootout.
Mike Brolsma gave the Kings a lift with a shootout conversion on the King opening round, but Derek Hahn fired a shot over the left side of Leslie in the third round. Lubbock couldn't regain the lead on their final attempts and Scott Wray found the five-hole in the fifth round for Amarillo to stand as the game winning goal.
Leslie stopped 21 of 22 shots in the contest, taking the overtime loss to have his record drop to 10-11-2. He came into the game with 5:26 remaining in the opening period after starting goaltender Tyson Gajda was injured. The penalties were at a minimum, with teams combining for 12 penalty minutes and each squad went 0 for 3 on power play opportunities.
Lubbock is without goaltender Brett Koscielny, who remains on the injured reserve list. Amarillo's Bryan Lachapelle will not be with the Gorillas, as he continues on the 45-Day IR..
Kings - 43 points, 3rd place, 22 points back, Southwest Division. Gorillas - 51 points, 2nd place, 14 points back, Southwest Division.
Kings - Nolan Graham 41 points; Emery Olauson / Nolan Graham 23 goals; Jan Melichercik / Bobby Brown 27 assists; Paul Fioroni 114 penalty minutes. Gorillas - Derek Hahn 89 points; Derek Hahn 30 goals; Derek Hahn 59 assists; Dave Rattray 151 penalty minutes.
Kings - Power play: 14.8% 12th, Penalty killing: 82.2% 14th. Gorillas - 16.7% 7th , Penalty killing: 83.8% 7th.
Kings - Lance Leslie (11-12-3, 1 SO, 3.27), Brad Buss (2-4-0, 0 SO, 4.07). Gorillas - Jaime Vandespyker (9-9-1, 0 SO, 3.00), Shawn Degagne (15-12-2, 1 SO, 3.37)
Lubbock - Sunday, February 26th 5:05 PM vs. Amarillo Gorillas Lubbock Municipal Coliseum
Amarillo - Sunday, February 4th 5:05 PM @ Lubbock Cotton Kings Lubbock Municipal Coliseum
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