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Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Colorado

February 18, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

2/18/06 - COLORADO EAGLES (33-10-5) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (19-22-3) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM

LOOKING FOR SOME HOME COOK'IN

The Lubbock Cotton Kings have a challenging task in hand tonight, as they seek to end a three-game home winless streak while hosting the defending CHL Champion Colorado Eagles. The game, which is the second game of a set of four games in six nights for Lubbock, will be their last home game before they head on the road for a Northeast Division set. Colorado storms in with a CHL best 33-10-5 record and 17-6-2 road record. Even though Lubbock has garnered standing points in five of their last seven games, they greatly need standing points tonight. Overtime wins by Amarillo and Odessa Friday night have pushed the Kings 18 standing-points back behind division leading Odessa and 8 standing-points behind Amarillo for the final playoff spot.

THE SERIES

The Cotton Kings and Eagles meet for the 13th time all-time and the fourth of five scheduled meetings this season (three in Lubbock). Colorado has a 2-1-0 series advantage this season and leads the all-time series with an 8-2-2 record, while Lubbock is 4-8-0 in the all-time series. Colorado's Ryan Tobler is the all-time series leader offensively with 4 goals and 10 assists for 14 points. Lubbock's all-time leader against Colorado is Paul Fioroni (3g, 4a) and Jan Melichercik (2g,5a), who each have 7 points. This season, Kyle Nosan (2g,4a) has 6 points against the Eagles to lead the Kings in the season series.

THE LAST TIME

2/11/06 - Lubbock Cotton Kings rookie forward Kyle Nosan had a career night at the Budweiser Events Center, grabbing a pair of goals and assisting on two for a career best four-point night in the Lubbock Cotton Kings 4-3 road victory over the defending CHL Champion Colorado Eagles. The win ended the Eagles five-game winning streak and extended the Kings road winning streak to two games.

Lubbock came out firing in the first period, out-shooting the Eagles 16-6 in the opening frame and garnering a goal on their first shot of the game. Bobby Brown entered the zone on the left side and dropped a pass to the top of the zone, which Nosan grabbed and fired it past goaltender Paulo Colaiacovo 3:04 into the period. Colorado bounced right back, tying the game at 1-1 17-seconds later with Scott Polaski receiving a backdoor pass from Les Borsheim and flipping the puck over Kings goaltender Brad Buss.

The Kings regained the lead just as they opened the scoring in the contest, and that was by scoring on their first shot on goal in the second period. Nosan returned the favor from the opening period with a feed to Bobby Brown, who converted in front with a goal 21-seconds into the period. Colorado answered back 5:20 later with a favorable power play deflection. A shot from the top of the zone was going well wide of the net, but hit the shoulder of Eagles forward Fraser Filipic and deflected into the back of the net. The Eagles took their first lead of the game with 7:14 remaining with Garrett Larson slipping past Kings forward Mike Brolsma in front of the crease and stuffing a pass from the boards through the pads of Buss.

Buss made several big saves at the start of the period and the Eagles began building momentum as they took a power play opportunity, but Brown changed the momentum during the power play opportunity with a shorthanded goal. Brown caught the Eagles by surprise and stole the puck on the side of the Eagles net and slipped it by a surprised Colaiacovo 9:36 into the period to tie the game 3-3. Nosan converted his first two-goal game of his career 1:46 later just after killing off the Eagles power play, tallying the eventual game winning goal. Colorado received a late power play opportunity and pulled Colaiacovo for a two-man advantage, but Buss made the big saves and the penalty kill unit was solid preventing the Eagles from setting up the power play offense.

The loss for Colorado was the first time this season they have lost a game in regulation when leading after the second period (23-0-2 entering the game when leading after two periods). On the flip side, it was Lubbock's fourth win when trailing after two periods, which co-leads the CHL. Buss received the win in net, stopping 25 of 28 shots to improve to 2-1-0 this season. All-star goaltender Colaiacovo suffered the loss allowing four goals on 29 shots.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock is without Brett Koscielny tonight, as the rookie goaltender is on the injured reserve list. Colorado will be without the services of Chris Hartsburg and Ed McGrane, who are each on the injured reserve list.

STANDINGS

Kings - 41 points, 3rd place, 18 points back, Southwest Division. Colorado - 71 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Bobby Brown 35 points; Several tied with 20 goals; Jan Melichercik 25 assists; Paul Fioroni 112 penalty minutes. Colorado - Greg Pankewicz 64 points; Greg Pankewicz 31 goals; Brad Williamson 39 assists; Les Borsheim 283 penalty minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.7% 13th, Penalty killing: 83.6% 10th. Colorado - Power play: 19.9% 1st , Penalty killing: 86.6% 2nd.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - Lance Leslie (10-11-3, 1 SO, 3.25), Brad Buss (2-2-0, 0 SO, 3.51). Colorado - Paulo Colaiacovo (20-7-2, 1 SO, 2.76), Jeff Blair (13-3-3, 1 SO, 2.60)

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Sunday, February 19th 5:05 PM vs. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs CenturyTel Center

Colorado - Wednesday, February 22nd 8:05 PM vs. Amarillo Gorillas Budweiser Events Center

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