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Cotton Kings Road Game Preview

March 10, 2007 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

3/10/07 -LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (22-27-8) @ AMARILLO GORILLAS (27-24-4)

- 7:05 PM CAL FARLEY COLISEUM RADIO- KFYO 790 AM

GOAL OBTAINABLE

The Lubbock Cotton Kings defeated the Odessa Jackalopes last night 3-1 at the Ector County Coliseum in Odessa to leap over the Jackaloipes and move within one standing point of Rio Grande Valley and Austin, who are tied in standing points for the final playoff spot. The Cotton Kings are looking for their second consecutive road win and face an Amarillo Gorillas squad tonight that ended an eight-game winless streak last night with a 4-1 win over New Mexico. A Lubbock win tonight can place them into the final playoff spot if Corpus Christi defeats Rio Grande Valley in regulation and Colorado tops Austin in regulation. Amarillo has a lot to play for as well, as they sit four standing points behind Southwest Division leading New Mexico and tied with Arizona for the third seed in the conference standings.

THE SERIES

The game marks the tenth of 11 meetings on the year, the fifth of six in Amarillo and the 84th all-time meeting. Lubbock brings in a 46-25-12 all-time series record and Amarillo brings a 37-40-6 all-time series mark. Lubbock leads the season series 6-3-0 and has already clinched the season series. The Kings are led by Simon Watson and Kyle Nosan, who each have 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in the series. The Gorillas are led by Bill Vandermeer, who has 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points in the eries. Former King Jan Melichercik (10g,34a) has 44 points against Amarillo to stand as the all-time leader in scoring against Amarillo for the Kings. Amarillo's all-time leader in scoring against Lubbock is former Gorilla Derek Hahn, who has 16 goals and 28 assists for 44 points.

THE LAST TIME

2/25/07 - The Lubbock Cotton Kings literally and figuratively removed a gorilla off their back Sunday evening at the Cal Farley Coliseum. The Lubbock Cotton Kings held off a comeback attempt by the Amarillo Gorillas to garner a 3-2 win, marking their first streak of two consecutive wins since November 16th.

The Cotton Kings did not get their first shot on goal until 5:02 into the game, but once they did, the scoring rhythm began in the opening period. Patrick Levesque cut in front of the net and had trouble stuffing the puck past Gorillas goaltender Shawn Conschafter, but the puck came free from Conschafter and a scrum developed in the crease battling for the puck. The puck would end up squirting across the goal line, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead 8:14 into the contest. The goal was credited to Levesque. Marc Bianchi's hard work led to the Kings building a 2-0 lead with 2:08 left in the period. Bianchi blocked a Gorillas shot high in the zone and the puck carried into the neutral zone to Jimmy Callahan, who fed a lead pass to Corey Rutt streaking up ice. Rutt hammered the puck past Conschafter for his sixth goal of the season (Rutt has goals in three of the last four games).

Teams traded goals in the second period. A pass from high in the zone deflected off Rich Hansen and past J.F. Perras with 4:16 left in the frame to cut the Kings lead in half 2-1. The goal ended Perras shutout sequence at 105:56. The Kings regained their two-goal lead 1:57 later with a goal by Anders Strome for his 99th of his pro career.

After the Gorillas went unsuccessful during a five-on-three power play session in the third period, it had appeared that the Gorillas had lost the wind out of their sails, until Austin Sutter scored a goal during a scrum in front of Perras with 2:04 remaining. The Gorillas trailed 3-2 and pulled Conschafter with just over a minute remaining, but they were unable to gain the equalizer due to strong defensive play by the Kings.

Amarillo out-shot the Kings 22-9 in the third period and 46-26 in the contest. Perras stopped 44 of the 46 shots for the win, while Conschafter allowed three goals on 26 shots. Each team was unsuccessful on the power play, as Lubbock was 0 for 2 and the Gorillas were 0 for 6.

ROSTER CHANGES

Lubbock made a move yesterday with by signing goaltender Mark Chapman to a five-game tryout.

STANDINGS

Kings - 52 points, 5th place, 10 points back, Southwest Division.

Gorillas - 58 points, t-2nd place, 4 points back, Southwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Points: 53 Anders Strome / Bobby Brown, Goals: 29 Anders Strome, Assists: 33 Bobby Brown, Penalty Minutes: 203 Paul McBrien.

Gorillas - Points: 67 Bill Vandermeer, Goals: 34 Bill Vandermeer, Assists: 43 Rich Hansen, Penalty Minutes: 216 David Silverstone.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.4% 14th, Penalty killing: 87.2% 2nd

Gorillas - Power play: 15.7% 9th, Penalty killing: 83.6% 10th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - JF Perras (15-14-3, 3 SO, 2.82), Kyle Stanton (7-13-5, 1 SO, 3.36).

Gorillas - Shawn Conschafter (15-13-1, 1 SO, 3.25), Jamie Vandespyker (12-11-3, 0 SO, 3.51).

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