Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Amarillo
3/19/06 - AMARILLO GORILLAS (30-26-3) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (26-28-5) - 5:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM
STILL SOMETHING TO PLAY FOR
The Lubbock Cotton Kings were eliminated from postseason contention last night with the combination of Lubbock's overtime loss to Amarillo and Rio Grande Valley's win over Memphis. Other than pride there is still something to play for as the Lubbock Cotton Kings host the Amarillo Gorillas tonight. Lubbock must win their final two games against Amarillo or they will lose the I-27 Series Cup, presented by Interstate Batteries, to the Gorillas. The Kings are also six standing points behind Amarillo for second place in the Southwest Division. Amarillo needs to avoid a loss to remain in playoff contention. The Gorillas are five standing-points behind Rio Grande Valley for the final playoff spot and tonight serves as one of two games-in-hand the Gorillas have on Rio.
Amarillo leads the series with a 7-4-1 record, while the Kings are 5-4-3 in the series and 3-2-1 against Amarillo at home this season. Derek Hahn has 8 goals and 10 assists for 18 points to lead Amarillo and the series in scoring this season, while the Kings are led by Mike Brolsma (3g,5a) and Bobby Brown (6g,2a), who each have 8 points. As for the all-time series, it will be the 73rd all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Lubbock bringing in a 40-21-11 all-time series record and Amarillo bringing a 32-35-5 all-time series mark. Jan Melichercik (10g,33a) has 43 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 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points.
THE LAST TIME
3/18/06 - Lubbock Cotton Kings forwards Jan Melichercik and Jon Foster each contributed a pair of goals, but it was not enough as the Amarillo Gorillas survived the Kings comeback attempt with an overtime shootout goal by Derek Hahn to lead the Gorillas to a 5-4 shootout.
The Gorillas were held without a shot on goal for the opening 9:53 of the game and their first shot ended up in the back of the net. Trevor Read was able to get a pass through the Kings defense to a wide open Derek Hahn in the left slot, who passed the puck to the doorstep of the crease for Joe Guenther to place past a helpless Lance Leslie for a power play conversion and a 1-0 lead. Jan Melichercik tied the game at 1-1 with 6:51 remaining as he received a pass in the left slot from Vic Pereira and backhanded a shot over the left shoulder of Gorillas goaltender Shawn Degagne. Dan Donnette regained the lead just 24-seconds later for the Gorillas. Kings defenseman Matt McNeely turned the puck over to Jason Chafe, who was able to get the puck in front to an open Donnette, who was cutting in from the right slot and one-timed the shot past Leslie.
Lubbock tied the game up for a second time 10:26 into the second period. Mike Brolsma rushed the puck into the offensive zone and centered a pass to Jon Foster in the low-point and he connected with a blast into the top shelf, tying the game 2-2. Like the previous time the game was tied, the game would not remain knotted up for long. Scott Wray ripped a shot from the point past Lance Leslie 3:07 later to unlock the tie at 3-2. The Gorillas extended the lead to 4-2 with 1:16 remaining on a goal by Gorillas General Manager Darren McLean. He signed a five-game tryout due to injuries and he scored his first goal since he was an everyday pro in 00/01. It was his 14th of his pro career.
The Kings stormed back in the third period. Foster picked up his first two-goal game of his career with a goal 2:18 into the period to cut the deficit to 4-3 and then Melichercik tied the contest up 5:56 later with his second goal of the game. The pair of goals forced overtime and in the overtime, play was back and fourth but emotions of the overtime hype would certainly die down with under a minute remaining in overtime with an injury to Bobby Brown. Gorillas defenseman Mark DeSantis rifled a slap shot from the right point that hit the face of Bobby Brown ten feet in front of DeSantis, sending Brown crumbling to the ice. The game was delayed for five minutes as medical personnel tended to Brown's needs and he eventually went off the ice under his own power.
In the shootout, the Cotton Kings were unsuccessful on four attempts and never could get the equalizer off Hahn's conversion. Trevor Socholotuck ended the game with his fourth round shootout tally.
Lubbock out-shot the Gorillas 42-40 in the high paced contest. Leslie suffered the overtime loss stopping 35 of 39 shots faced, while Degagne grabbed the win for the Gorillas by denying 38 of 42 shots. Amarillo converted one of three power play opportunities, as the Kings were scoreless in two sessions of their own..
Lubbock is without defenseman Stacey Bauman, who remains on the 45-Day injured reserve list. Amarillo's Bryan Lachapelle will not be with the Gorillas, as he continues on the 45-Day IR, along with Gerard Miller, who is out for the season.
Kings - 57 points, 3rd place, 17 points back, Southwest Division. Gorillas - 63 points, 2nd place, 11 points back, Southwest Division.
Kings - Bobby Brown 51 points; Nolan Graham 26 goals; Bobby Brown 31 assists; Paul Fioroni 148 penalty minutes. Gorillas - Derek Hahn 108 points; Scott Wray 36 goals; Derek Hahn 74 assists; Dave Rattray 173 penalty minutes.
Kings - Power play: 14.8% 12th, Penalty killing: 82.7% 12th. Gorillas - Power play: 16.5% 8th , Penalty killing: 84.6% 5th.
Kings - Brett Koscielny (9-11-1, 1 SO, 2.58), Lance Leslie (14-12-4, 0 SO, 3.05). Gorillas - Jaime Vandespyker (11-10-1, 0 SO, 3.00), Shawn Degagne (19-16-2, 2 SO, 3.26)
Lubbock - Wednesday, March 22nd 7:05 PM @ Wichita Thunder Kansas Coliseum
Amarillo - Tuesday, March 21st 7:00 PM @ Odessa Jackalopes Ector County Coliseum
• Discuss this story on the Central Hockey League message board...
Central Hockey League Stories from March 19, 2006
- Gorillas Get Past Another Kings Rally, Top Kings 3-2 in OT - Lubbock Cotton Kings
- Bucks Beat Rayz 6-2, Grenville Records Second Straight Hat Trick - Laredo Bucks
- Corpus Christi falls to Laredo, 6-2 - Corpus Christi IceRays
- Fan Appreciation Night Tuesday, March 21 - Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
- Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Amarillo - Lubbock Cotton Kings
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.