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Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Amarillo

March 4, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

3/4/06 - AMARILLO GORILLAS (25-23-3) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (22-26-4) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM

KINGS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER TOUGH LOSS

The Lubbock Cotton Kings were the only team Friday night picking up a standing point out of the Southwest Division, but the Kings were very disappointed in garnering that point. The Kings had a victory taken away with a pair of goals in the final 1:37 by Colorado to force overtime, which Colorado wound up winning 5-4 in a shootout. With Rio Grande Valley winning in Odessa, the Kings fell back a point to 9 points out from Rio for the final playoff spot. The team in between Rio and Lubbock is Amarillo, who the Kings must get past. They have a chance to get closer to their attempt to pass Amarillo tonight, as the Cotton Kings host the Amarillo Gorillas as part of the Interstate Batteries I-27 Series. Amarillo comes in battling to get a postseason birth and they are four standing points behind Rio Grande Valley with two games-in-hand.

THE SERIES

Lubbock leads the series with a 5-3-2 record and is 3-1-1 against Amarillo at home this season. Derek Hahn has 6 goals and 4 assists for 910points to lead Amarillo and the series in scoring this season, while the Kings are led by Mike Brolsma's 7 points (3g,4a). As for the all-time series, it will be the 71st all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Lubbock bringing in a 40-20-10 all-time series record and Amarillo bringing a 30-35-5 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 20 assists for 34 points.

THE LAST TIME

2/26/06 - Amarillo Gorillas goaltender Shawn Degagne stopped all 41 shots on goal and the Gorillas penalty kill stopped all 14 Lubbock Cotton Kings power play opportunities to shutout the Kings 4-0 in a zany affair as part of the Interstate Batteries I-27 Series at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

Amarillo had to be very fortunate to be in the locker room with the game scoreless after the opening period. Lubbock kept Amarillo from firing a shot on goal for the first 3:37 and wound up out-shooting them 18-3 in the period. Shawn Degagne was able to stop all 18 shots fired in the frame and helped prevent the Kings from getting a power play goals in their four opportunities in the period.

The second period had to be one of the most bizarre periods in hockey. Teams combined for 11 power play chances in the period, with Lubbock receiving 8 of the opportunities. Lubbock out-shot the Gorillas 17-10 in the period as well, but the Gorillas scored a pair of shorthanded goals 3:34 apart for a 2-0 lead. Joe Guenther started it off with a redirection 2:13 into the period just as a power play session was starting from 4-on-4 play. Dave Rattray tallied the second on a shorthanded breakaway with a wrist shot past Brett Koscielny.

The Gorillas were awarded several power play opportunities in the final period and they cashed in on a pair of them. Kevin Wilson built the lead to 3-0 with a power play marker 2:48 into the period with a shot from the point that slipped under Koscielny. Dan Donnette tossed in the dagger with a power play goal from the left slot with 2:12 remaining. Lubbock appeared to break the shutout with a goal by Josh Anderson in the closing moments, but official Tudor Floru ruled the puck never went in and that it deflected off the post. Floru never confirmed his decision with the goal judge, who had turned the red line on, and the shutout stood.

Degagne's shutout is his second of the season and his 11th of his pro career. The win ended his four-game winless streak to the Kings. Koscielny allowed four goals on 19 shots in his first appearance since January 21st. He was activated off the IR prior to the game. Lubbock's 14 power play opportunities set a new franchise high. Amarillo was 2 for 7 on their man advantages.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock is without goaltender Lance Leslie, 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.

STANDINGS

Kings - 48 points, 3rd place, 18 points back, Southwest Division. Gorillas - 53 points, 2nd place, 13 points back, Southwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Nolan Graham 44 points; Nolan Graham 26 goals; Bobby Brown 28 assists; Paul Fioroni 120 penalty minutes. Gorillas - Derek Hahn 92 points; Derek Hahn 30 goals; Derek Hahn 62 assists; Dave Rattray 153 penalty minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.4% 13th, Penalty killing: 82.3% 13th. Gorillas - Power play: 16.4% 9th , Penalty killing: 84.3% 6th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - Brett Koscielny (7-10-1, 1 SO, 2.66), Brad Buss (2-4-0, 0 SO, 4.07). Gorillas - Jaime Vandespyker (9-9-1, 0 SO, 3.00), Shawn Degagne (16-14-2, 2 SO, 3.31)

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Wednesday, March 8th 7:05 PM vs. Fort Worth Brahmas Lubbock Municipal Coliseum

Amarillo - Sunday, March 9th 6:00 PM vs. Odessa Jackalopes Cal Farley Coliseum

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