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Cotton Kings Road Game Preview

November 9, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

11/9/06 -LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (4-2-0) @ NEW MEXICO SCORPIONS (2-3-0)

- 8:35 PM SANTA ANA STAR CENTER RADIO- KFYO 790 AM

FROM ONE END OF THE RIO TO THE OTHER

The Lubbock Cotton Kings remain on the Rio Grande, as they take a two-game winning streak from the Rio Grande Valley and settle down in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where tonight they face the New Mexico Scorpions in a Southwest Division tilt. The game opens up the first three-in-three week for the Kings, who will travel back home to host Amarillo Friday and Rocky Mountain Saturday. Lubbock could move into first or a share of first tonight by gaining standing-points. The Kings enter the game one standing-point behind Amarillo and tied with Arizona for second place in the division (Amarillo and Arizona are each off tonight). New Mexico is also riding a two-game winning streak and has picked up both of their season victories at home.

THE SERIES

Tonight's game is the first of eight match-ups on the season between the two teams and the first of four at the Santa Ana Star Center. The two teams have not met since the 04/05 season and this match-up will be the 58th all-time meeting. Lubbock holds a 28-21-8 all-time record against the Scorps' with former King Jan Melichercik leading the all-time series with 16 goals and 33 assists for 49 points, while New Mexico barely holds the season advantage with a 29-20-8 mark. Former Scorpion Peter Ambroziak leads the series offensively with 59 points (20g,39a).

THE LAST TIME

3/19/05 - The Lubbock Cotton Kings registered a 5-0 shutout victory over New Mexico at Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. Second-period goals by Justin Keller, Jan Melichercik and Matt Turek were more than enough support for goaltender Lance Leslie, who stopped all 27 of New Mexico's shots on goal for his fourth shutout of the season. Lubbock's penalty-killing unit also was up to the challenge, erasing all four man advantages for the Scorpions, who entered the game leading the CHL. The Cotton Kings scored power-play goals in only two of 17 games from Feb. 4 through March 12, but with Turek's power-play goal on Saturday, it is their fifth in their last three contests. After a quick and uneventful first period, Keller broke the scoreless tie only 1:25 into the second period. The rookie forward ripped a slap shot past Miguel Beaudry from the slot, scoring his 11th goal this season and second in as many nights. Melichercik scored his second goal in two games a little more than two minutes later. Lubbock's all-time leading scorer took a pass from Keller and skated toward the net along with Fioroni, and he kept the puck himself and scored with a wrist shot. Jordan Bianchin's hooking penalty gave the Cotton Kings their first power play with 10:16 left in the second, and Turek cashed in just 37 seconds afterward. The team captain's one-timer from the point whizzed past Beaudry, who reacted like he never saw the puck. Diminutive forward Bruno Lemire gave Lubbock a 4-0 lead just 1:43 into the third period, when he one-timed Paul Fioroni's pass from the left wing. Keller added his second goal of the night with 2:13 remaining.

ROSTER CHANGES

The Cotton Kings have not made any roster changes heading into the game, while New Mexico is without Vladimir Hartinger and Craig MacDonald, who are each serving league suspensions.

STANDINGS

Kings - 8 points, T-2nd place, 1 point back, Southwest Division.

Scorpions - 4 points, 4th place, 5 points back, Southwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Points: 9 Simon Watson, Goals: 5 Bobby Brown, Assists: 7 Kyle Nosan, Penalty Minutes: 19 Paul McBrien.

Scorpions - Points: 7 Rob Guinn, Goals: 5 Ryan McLeod, Assists: 7 Rob Guinn, Penalty Minutes: 25 Vladimir Hartinger.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 20.5% 5th, Penalty killing: 79.6% 14th.

Scorpions - Power play: 20.4% 6th, Penalty killing: 69.1% 17th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - JF Perras (1-1-0, 0 SO, 4.04), Kyle Stanton (3-1-0, 0 SO, 3.20).

Scorpions - Wal Bartholomaeus (1-2-0, 0 SO, 3.50), Brad Smith (1-1-0, 0 SO, 4.38).

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