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Fioroni Goes From Cotton King to King of Tech

July 24, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

LUBBOCK, TX: July 24, 2006 - In a press conference held at the United Spirit Arena, Lubbock Cotton Kings forward Paul Fioroni officially announced his retirement and accepted the position as Head Coach of the Texas Tech University ice hockey club team, which serves as a Division II member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).

Fioroni (fuh-row-nee) closed out his final professional season last year with the Central Hockey League's (CHL) Cotton Kings ranking seventh in team scoring with 7 goals and 22 assists for 29 points. He battled through shoulder and back injuries last season and still led the team in penalty minutes with 152. His most notable contributions were off the ice, as he earned the CHL's "Man of the Year" award for a second consecutive season through the hard work of the "24 Foundation." The 24 Foundation has helped raise thousands of dollars to aid ailing children and assist Lubbock Youth Hockey.

The Calgary, Alberta native spent parts of six seasons with the Cotton Kings. Since his arrival towards the end of the 00/01 season, Fioroni has donned a Kings sweater for 308 regular season games, which is second all-time behind Jan Melichercik's 361. He ranks third all-time on the Kings roster in points with 191 points (behind Kyle Reeves 197 and Melichercik 312) with 57 goals (4th all-time) and 134 assists (2nd all-time behind Melichercik's 214). His 885 penalty minutes with the Kings is also a Kings all-time high. Overall in his nine-year career, Fioroni collected 92 goals and 194 assists for 286 points in 528 games. Fioroni also amassed 1729 penalty minutes, with 1405 occurring in CHL/WPHL action, which ranks 18th in league history. Prior to joining the 'Kings, he played with the United Hockey League's Port Huron Border Cats, the ECHL's Mobile Mystics and had split a pair of seasons with the WPHL's Lake Charles Ice Pirates and Odessa Jackalopes.

The move for Fioroni, 29, continues a connection between the Cotton Kings and Texas Tech. Fioroni becomes the second former Kings member to take over the coaching reigns of Texas Tech's ice hockey program. Mike Hiebert was the Red Raiders bench boss following his Kings retirement at the close of the 03/04 season. The Red Raiders will compete in the ACHA's Division II for the first time this season after advancing up from Division III. Their season consists of an estimated 30 games from September through March and they will continue playing their home games at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. The Red Raiders home opener is set for September 29th against the University of North Texas.

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