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Cotton Kings Game Night Preview

January 22, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

1/22/06 - AMARILLO GORILLAS (17-14-3) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (16-18-1) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM

BACK AND FORTH The Interstate Batteries I-27 Series continues tonight at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum with the completion of a home-an-home weekend set between the Lubbock Cotton Kings and the Amarillo Gorillas. The contest wraps up the weekend for both teams and each team has an opportunity to gain ground on Southwest Division leading Odessa, who is off tonight. Lubbock seeks their second consecutive home win, while also seeking to hand the Gorillas their second consecutive road loss.

THE SERIES

Lubbock leads the Instate Batteries I-27 Series with a 4-2-0 record and is 2-0-0 against Amarillo at home this season. Derek Hahn has four goals and two assists for six points to lead Amarillo and the series in scoring this season, while the Kings are led by several players who have four points. As for the all-time series, it will be the 67th all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Lubbock bringing in a 39-19-8 all-time series record and Amarillo bringing a 27-34-5 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 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points.

THE LAST TIME

1/21/06 - A pair of power play goals and a shorthanded goal paced the Amarillo Gorillas to a 4-2 win over the Lubbock Cotton Kings Saturday night at the Cal Farley Coliseum. It was only the second win of the season in the series for Amarillo, as the Cotton Kings continue to lead the Interstate Batteries I-27 Series with a 4-2-0 record.

Lubbock was 0 for 3 on the power play in the opening period and their first opportunity also ended with a shorthanded goal for the Gorillas. Amarillo took the opening lead 4:49 into the period with Derek Hahn attracting three Kings defenders and dropping a pass to an unattended Mark DeSantis, who took a stride into the right circle and roofed a shot past Lubbock goaltender Brett Koscielny. With 7:56 remaining in the period, Lubbock veteran Bobby Brown took a loose puck in the right slot and wristed it underneath the crossbar for his eighth goal of the season. Amarillo received their only power play opportunity late in the frame and converted it with a backdoor goal by Trevor Read, who received a feed from Keith Rowe. Read's goal, tallied with 21.6-seconds remaining, was his first of the season and it gave the Gorillas a 2-1 lead through the first period. Lubbock was without Nolan Graham much of the period, as he received a high stick from Hahn 18-seconds into the game and did not return until the second period.

The second period was full of power play opportunities, but neither team could convert on their chances. Amarillo was 0 for 4 on the power play and missed out on a lengthy 5-on-3 session, while Lubbock was 0 for 3 on the power play in the period. The Kings out-shot the Gorillas 15-11 in the scoreless period.

Lubbock's Jan Melichercik had the puck in his own end during the third period and fellow defenseman Stacey Bauman lost an edge and fell to the ice, sliding into Melichercik knocking the puck free. Scott Wray grabbed the puck for Amarillo and fired it over to a falling Joe Guenther, who was able to get a shot off and into the net with 5:56 remaining. Lubbock was able to get back in the game and cut the Amarillo lead to 3-2 2:47 later with a goal by Jon Foster, but Amarillo extended the lead back to a two-goal margin with 31-seconds remaining with a power play goal by DeSantis.

On the night, Lubbock was 0 for 7 on the power play, while Amarillo cashed in on two of their seven opportunities. Goaltender Jaime Vandespyker received the game's top honor, stopping 38 of 40 shots for the victory in his first appearance against the Cotton Kings this season and his first appearance in January for the Gorillas. Amarillo out-shot the Kings 41-40, with Koscielny stopping 37 of the 41 shots.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock and Amarillo each list a healthy roster coming into tonight.

STANDINGS

Kings - 33 points, 3rd place, 11 points back, Southwest Division. Gorillas - 37 points, 2nd place, 7 points back, Southwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Nolan Graham 27 points; Nolan Graham/Emery Olauson 15 goals; Jan Melichercik 19 assists; Paul Fioroni 87 penalty minutes. Gorillas - Derek Hahn 69 points; Derek Hahn 27 goals; Derek Hahn 42 assists; Dave Rattray 120 penalty minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 13.6% 13th, Penalty killing: 85.7% 4th. Gorillas - 17.1% T-5th , Penalty killing: 84.3% 9th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - Lance Leslie (10-9-1, 1 SO, 2.93), Brett Koscielny (6-9-0, 1 SO, 2.61). Gorillas - Jaime Vandespyker (4-6-1, 0 SO, 3.20), Shawn Degagne (13-8-2, 1 SO, 3.13)

WHAT'S NEXT

Lubbock - Friday, January 27th 7:05 PM vs. Oklahoma City Blazers Lubbock Municipal Coliseum

Amarillo - Wednesday, January 25th 8:05 PM @ Colorado Eagles Budweiser Events Center

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