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Cotton Kings Road Game Preview

March 23, 2007 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

3/23/07 -LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (23-31-8) @ ODESSA JACKALOPES (24-31-7)

- 7:00 PM ECTOR COUNTY COLISEUM RADIO- KFYO 790 AM

PLAY FOR FUN

It's been a while since a meeting between the Lubbock Cotton Kings and Odessa had no meaning, but it will not necessarily be the case internally as the teams face off tonight at the Ector County Coliseum. Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention but the Kings have the opportunity to rally past them in the overall standings. The Jackalopes are just a standing point ahead of the Cotton Kings with two games remaining. This will be the Cotton Kings final road game of the season and they will wrap up the season Saturday night at home against Amarillo. Tonight marks the final home game for the Jackalopes this season.

THE SERIES

Lubbock is making their fifth and final trip of the season to Odessa to face the Jackalopes, and it marks the 79th meeting all-time. Odessa, who owns the all-time regular season series with a 51-22-6 record, is 5-2-2 this season against the Kings. Lubbock is 28-45-6 all-time against Odessa and former King Jan Melichercik is the Kings all-time leader against the Jacks with 43 points (16g, 27a). Lubbock's Bobby Brown (3g,8a), leads the Kings in this season's series with 11 points, while Mike Rutter (4g,9a) leads the Jackalopes this season against Lubbock with 13 points.

THE LAST TIME

3/9/07 - Anders Strome registered a pair of goals and goaltender Kyle Stanton was tremendous stopping 31 of 32 shots on goal to end a personal 17-game winless streak, as the Lubbock Cotton Kings defeated the Odessa Jackalopes 3-1 at the Ector County Coliseum.

The first period was full of unique power play situations, but it was an even strength goal that would count as the only goal in the period. During 4-on-4 even strength play, Blaine Bablitz flew past the Cotton Kings defense and cut into the right slot lifting a shot into the top shelf over Kings goaltender Kyle Stanton. The goal was tallied with 2:42 remaining in the period to give the Jackalopes a 1-0 lead through the opening 20 minutes.

Lubbock responded in the second period by grabbing a goal in the opening and closing minute of the period. Strome fed a rebound past Jackalopes goaltender Derek Dolson 28 seconds into the period to capitalize on the power play. The goal marked the fourth fastest goal to begin a period this season by the Kings, and ironically Strome has three of the four to his name. With just under 16 seconds remaining, Simon Watson was unable to stuff a shot through the pads if Dolson, but Patrick Levesque was there to grab the loose rebound and put it in for a 2-1 lead. The goal by Levesque was the first even-strength goal scored by the Cotton Kings in the last four games.

The third period was highlighted by spectacular saves by Stanton, especially while the Jackalopes enjoyed a major power play after Levesque was issued a game misconduct after a major boarding penalty. Stanton kept the puck out of the net and Strome grabbed some insurance with his second goal of the game on an empty net goal with just under a minute remaining to seal the game at 3-1.

Lubbock out-shot the Jacks' 34-32 for just the second time in the last 20 games in which the Kings have out-shot their opponent. Lubbock was 1 for 8 on the power play, while holding Odessa scoreless on eight chances.

ROSTER CHANGES

As of press time, no moves have been made by either team for tonight's game.

STANDINGS

Kings - 54 points, 5th place, 16 points back, Southwest Division.

Jackalopes - 55 points, 4th place, 15 points back, Southwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Points: 57 Bobby Brown, Goals: 30 Anders Strome, Assists: 35 Bobby Brown, Penalty Minutes: 208 Paul McBrien.

Jackalopes - Points: 52 Mike Rutter, Goals: 23 Mike Ramsay, Assists: 38 Mike Rutter, Penalty Minutes: 296 Jeff Ewasko.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 14.2% 13th, Penalty killing: 87.0% 2nd.

Jackalopes - Power play: 15.8% 8th, Penalty killing: 84.6% 7th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - J.F. Perras (15-14-3, 3 SO, 2.82), Kyle Stanton (7-16-5, 1 SO, 3.57), Anthony Feyock (1-1-0, 0 SO, 3.24).

Jackalopes - Mike Gorman (17-18-5, 0 SO, 3.13), Derek Dolson (7-12-2, 3 SO, 2.61).

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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