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Cotton Kings Game Night Preview vs. Rio Grande Valley

March 11, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

3/11/06 - RIO GRANDE VALLEY KILLER BEES (28-23-5) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (23-27-4) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM

THE TIME IS NOW

The Lubbock Cotton Kings did not get all the scoreboard help they needed around the CHL last night, but they did receive some favorable scores, while tonight's opponent, the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, received all the help they needed and they also aided themselves. Rio Grande Valley defeated Corpus Christi (4-1), Austin blew a 3-0 lead and lost 6-4 to Tulsa and Amarillo was doubled up by Wichita 4-2, so the Killer Bees climb four standing points ahead of Amarillo in the final playoff spot and move within two standing points of Austin for the third seed. As for the Kings, they fall 11 standing points behind Rio with 10 games remaining (two against Rio, including tonight), and with Austin playing and losing, Lubbock remains 13 standing points behind the Icebats with four games in hand.

THE SERIES

Tonight is the third of four meetings between the two clubs this season and the only one in Lubbock (eighth all-time meeting). Lubbock is 1-1-0 this season against the Bees and 4-3-0 all-time. Emery Olauson (2g,5a) and Paul Fioroni (3g,4a) each have 7 points in the all-time series to lead the Kings against Rio. The Bees are led in the all-time series by former King Matic Kralj, who has 5 points off 2 goals and 3 assists.

THE LAST TIME

10/22/05 - The Lubbock Cotton Kings were able to close out the Central Hockey League's opening weekend of play with their first victory of the season, as they disappointed 4,292 fans at the Dodge Arena, with a 3-2 win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees.

The Cotton Kings controlled the opening period gaining a pair of goals and receiving valuable goaltending by Lance Leslie. After killing off a pair of Bees power plays, the Cotton Kings received several of their own and capitalized on them. The Cotton Kings received a five-on-three advantage and Bobby Brown ripped a slap shot from the point that deflected into the right corner of the net with 6:08 remaining in the period. Nolan Graham made it 2-0 3:52 later, converting on a breakaway by firing a wrist shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Evan Lindsay.

Leslie's shutout bid ended after 35:56 (thirty-five minutes, 56-seconds) of shutout time, as Bobby Davis received a wild deflecting puck in the left slot and flipped it past a sprawling Leslie for his second goal of the season. The Kings were able to extend their lead back to a two-goal margin at the beginning of the third period with a power play tally by Matt Macdonald for his first professional goal 1:17 into the period. Rio Grande Valley made things interesting with a power play goal by Aaron Phillips off a feed from Dwayne Hay, which cut the Kings lead to 3-2. The Bees continued putting pressure on the Kings with power play opportunities to close out the contest and pulled goaltender Evan Lindsay with 1:29 remaining, but they were unable to score the tying goal and the Kings held on for their first victory of the season and improve their record to 1-1-0.

It was a hard fought win for the Kings, as they were able to kill seven of eight Bees power play opportunities with only 13 healthy skaters in the line-up. Lance Leslie was able to register the win in net by stopping 25 of 27 shots on goal.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock is without goaltender Lance Leslie and defenseman Stacey Bauman, who each remain on the injured reserve list. Rio Grande Valley is without forward Jason Kuczmanski, who is on the 45-Day IR.

STANDINGS

Kings - 50 points, 3rd place, 20 points back, Southwest Division. Bees - 61 points, 3rd place, 19 points back, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Bobby Brown 48 points; Nolan Graham 26 goals; Bobby Brown 30 assists; Paul Fioroni 137 penalty minutes. Bees - Trevor Weisgerber 56 points; Bret DeCecco 26 goals; Trevor Weisgerber 38 assists; Ryan Shmyr 163 penalty minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.8% 12th, Penalty killing: 82.4% 13th. Bees - Power play: 16.2% 8th , Penalty killing: 85.1% 4th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - Brett Koscielny (8-10-1, 1 SO, 2.54), Brad Buss (2-5-0, 0 SO, 4.51). Bees - Evan Lindsay (20-17-3, 2 SO, 2.71), Terry Dunbar (8-6-2, 0 SO, 2.95)

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Sunday, March 12th 5:05 PM @ Corpus Christi Rayz AmericanBank Center

Rio Grande Valley - Sunday, March 12th 6:00 PM @ Amarillo Gorillas Cal Farley Coliseum

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