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Cotton Kings Game Night Preview (vs. Odessa)

March 25, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

3/25/06 - ODESSA JACKALOPES (35-21-6) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (27-29-6) - 7:05 PM LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM

ONE LAST TIME

The Lubbock Cotton Kings wrap up their home portion of their schedule tonight hosting the Odessa Jackalopes. It is the only Kings game of the four games scheduled this week that has no playoff implications riding on it. For the hometown fans, this will be the last time they can catch the Kings play with their current roster. Expansion drafts, retirements and offseason moves make it a formality that the current roster can not exist come opening night of the next season. This is Odessa's final road game of the season, as they will close their season at home Sunday.

THE SERIES

The Odessa Jackalopes and Lubbock Cotton Kings face off for the 12th and final time this season and for the 70th meeting all-time. It is the sixth game of the season series in Lubbock, where the Kings are 2-4-0 in the series this season and 15-14-3 all-time against Odessa. The overall season series is led by Odessa 8-2-1 this season. Jan Melichercik (1g,9a) has ten points to lead the season series offensively for the Kings, while Odessa's Sebastien Thinel (8g,9a) has 17 points for Odessa against the Kings . Lubbock is 24-40-5 all-time against the Jacks', while Odessa is 45-20-4 against the Kings in the all-time series. Odessa's Scott Hillman is the all-time series scoring leader with 10 goals and 46 assists for 56 points. Jan Melichercik is the Cotton Kings all-time leader in scoring against Odessa with 43 points (16g,27a). The Cotton Kings will auction off jerseys throughout and after the game.

THE LAST TIME

1/27/06 - Emery Olauson capped his first professional hat trick with a goal 2:38 into overtime to lift the Lubbock Cotton Kings to a 5-4 overtime win over the Odessa Jackalopes at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

The Kings took out their frustrations from being out-scored 15-4 over their previous two games early in the contest with a pair of goals by Olauson. The Kings forward opened the scoring 1:50 into the contest by slipping a rebound underneath goaltender Mike Gorman, and then scored a power play tally 3:43 later with a backhanded shot lifted into the top shelf. Nolan Graham capitalized on the Kings next power play opportunity with 9:45 remaining in the period by stuffing a rebound past Gorman from the right slot. Lubbock controlled the tempo of the period, out-shooting the Jacks 19-5 in the period. The teams combined for 44 penalty minutes in the frame, which featured a tilt between Lubbock's Matt McNeely and Odessa's Don Margettie and followed immediately after with Lubbock's Nolan Brown squaring off with Odessa's Jeff Ewasko. Margettie went to the locker room and never returned after his bout.

Odessa added on to their CHL lead in second period goals 3:51 into the second period with an unguarded Mike Carter getting free in front and placing the puck past Kings goaltender Tyson Gajda. Odessa cut the Kings lead to 3-2 with six minutes remaining on a power play goal by Paul Davies, who was able to dig the puck out of traffic in the right slot and flip it over Gajda. Odessa replaced Gorman with Derek Dolson in the second period and he kept the net safely guarded most of the period, until Kyle Nosan jammed a rebound in the right slot past Dolson with 1:37 remaining in the period to give the Kings a 4-2 lead through two periods.

The Jacks went to their all-stars in the third period to tie the game. Sebastien Thinel set up Dominic Leveille for a power play goal 1:02 into the period to cut the deficit to 4-3 and then Leveille returned the favor at the 10:00 mark with an assist on Thinel's game-tying goal.

Thinel checked Olauson from behind in the overtime, setting up a power play opportunity for the Kings and Olauson converted the opportunity by cutting in the left side and backhanding a shot over the left shoulder of Dolson and under the crossbar for the game winning goal.

Lubbock posted a season-high 56 shots on goal in the victory, which ended a three-game winless streak. Gajda made his Cotton Kings debut in net and stopped 34 of 38 shots to register the victory in net. Gorman, who stopped 16 of 19, did not receive the decision between the pipes, as the game winning goal was scored against Dolson, who ended the night stopping 35 of 37 shots on goal. The Kings power play was able to go 3 for 8 against the Jacks' league leading penalty kill unit. Odessa was 2 for 7 in their opportunities.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock is without defenseman Stacey Bauman, who is on the 45-Day IR. Odessa is without Don Margettie, who is on Season Ending IR.

STANDINGS

Kings - 60 points, 3rd place, 16 points back, Southwest Division. Jackalopes - 76 points, 1st place, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Bobby Brown 51 points; Nolan Graham 26 goals; Bobby Brown 31 assists; Paul Fioroni 152 penalty minutes. Jackalopes - Sebastien Thinel 91 points; Sebastien Thinel 40 goals; Dominic Leveille 55 assists; Jeff Ewasko 266 penalty minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.8% 12th, Penalty killing: 83.1% 11th. Jackalopes - Power play: 13.8% 13th, Penalty killing: 85.6% 3rd.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - Lance Leslie (14-13-4, 2 SO, 3.05), Brett Koscielny (10-11-2, 1 SO, 2.61). Jackalopes - Mike Gorman (26-15-3, 2 SO, 2.69), Derek Dolson (9-5-1, 0 SO, 3.08), Brad Buss (2-5-0 0 SO, 4.51)

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Sunday, March 26th 6:00 PM @ Amarillo Gorillas Cal Farley Coliseum

Odessa - Sunday, March 26th 4:00 PM vs. Rio Grande Valley Ector County Coliseum

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