Cotton Kings Game Night Preview
2/23/07 - OKLAHOMA CITY BLAZERS (26-14-7) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (17-25-5)
- 7:05 PM CITY BANK COLISEUM
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
The Lubbock Cotton Kings better hope they are rested up to face the Oklahoma City Blazers tonight. The game not only kicks off a three-in-three weekend, but it begins a span of eight games over a ten day span. The Blazers come in after a 1-0 overtime win at Odessa last night and they are riding a two-game winning streak. The Cotton Kings are winless in their last three games (0-2-1) and needing some wins to make a run at the postseason. The Kings enter the game nine standing points back of Austin for the final playoff spot, with a game-in-hand.
Lubbock and Oklahoma City meet three times this season and this is the third and final meeting of the series, and the only meeting in Lubbock. OKC has had the Kings number all-time, winning 10 of the 14 all-time meetings. This season's series is all tied at 1-0-1, with each team garnering victories in a shootout. The Kings won the previous meeting 6-5, rebounding from a 4-0 second period deficit to gain the win on February 6th. Simon Watson leads the Kings this season in the series with 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points, and Mike Burgoyne has 4 assists to lead the Blazers. Lubbock's all-time series leader against Oklahoma City is former King Paul Fioroni, who has 7 points (2g,5a) against the Blazers. Oklahoma City's all-time leader is Marty Standish, who has 3 goals and 11 assists for 14 points.
THE LAST TIME
2/6/07 - Simon Watson capped a two-goal game by netting a shootout goal in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Lubbock Cotton Kings, who fought back from a 4-0 deficit, a 6-5 win over the Oklahoma City Blazers at the Ford Center.
Things were going downhill in the second period for the Kings after Michel Beausoleil and Garrett Prosofsky combined for a pair of breakwaway goal at the 6:14 and the 13:50 mark of the period to build the Blazers lead to 4-0. Lubbock then responded with five consecutive goals. Anders Strome started it off powering a shot past Sean Connors while on the power play 1:31 after Prosofsky's goal. Oklahoma City then began having defensive meltdowns and the Kings took advantage. The Blazers defense fell asleep in their own end and Bobby Brown stole a pass and fired it into the net past a surprised Connors. The goal came 2:16 after Strome's and then was followed up by a goal by Mark Scott 39-seconds later. Watson stole the puck in the attack zone and banked a quick shot off a defender, which then deflected off of Scott's stick and into the net. The Kings trio of goals came in a span of 2:55, which is the quickest of the season.
The third period saw the Kings comeback continue. Watson led off the third period scoring with a goal 4:19 into the frame and then Kyle Nosan gave the Kings a 5-4 lead with a goal 4:16 later. Lubbock tried to hold the lead, but during four-on-four play in the final minute, the Blazers pulled Sean Connors for an extra attacker. The Blazers won a face off and a shot from the top of the zone deflected off the stick of A.J. MacLean and slipped through Lubbock goaltender J.F. Perras for the goal and the 5-5 tie with under 49 seconds remaining.
In the overtime, Lubbock had some valuable opportunities during a power play but Connor denied all of Lubbock's chances, including robbing Bobby Brown on a rebound while in a tumble through the crease. Lubbock maintained the tempo in the shootout with goals by John Neal and Brown to take an early lead, but the Blazers sent the shootout into an extra round when Mike Burgoyne scored as the Blazers fifth shooter. In the sixth round Perras denied Dallas Flaman's attempt to equalize Watson's shootout tally.
Before the Kings could even get a shot on goal, the Blazers took a 1-0 lead. On the power play, MacLean redirected a shot from the point past Perras 3:18 into the contest. Prosofsky made it 2-0 with 8:33 remaining with a goal set-up by Marc Connors, who stole the puck from Jason Beatty and fed Prosofsky the one-timer.
Each team had a power play goal, as Lubbock was 1 for 7 while the Blazers were 1 for 5. Perras improves to 10-10-2 this season with the win by stopping 40 of 45 shots.
Lubbock has not made any roster changes heading into tonight's game as of press time.
Kings - 39 points, 5th place, 18 points back, Southwest Division.
Blazers - 59 points, 2nd place, 15 points back, Northwest Division.
Kings - Points: 44 Bobby Brown / Anders Strome, Goals: 24 Anders Strome, Assists: 29 Bobby Brown, Penalty Minutes: 161 Paul McBrien.
Blazers - Points: 51 Mike Burgoyne, Goals: 20 Garrett Prosofsky, Assists: 33 Mike Burgoyne, Penalty Minutes: 189 Graham Dearle.
Kings - Power play: 14.2% 14th, Penalty killing: 85.8% 4th.
Blazers - Power play: 12.9% 15th, Penalty killing: 84.1% 7th.
Kings - JF Perras (11-13-2, 2 SO, 3.05), Kyle Stanton (6-12-3, 1 SO, 3.43).
Blazers - Sebastien Centomo (15-8-1, 1 SO, 2.92), Sean Connors (11-6-6, 1 SO, 2.92).
Lubbock - Saturday, February 24th 7:05 PM vs Amarillo Gorillas City Bank Coliseum
Oklahoma City - Saturday, February 24th 7:35 PM @ Tulsa Oilers Tulsa Convention Center
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