Gorillas Dodge Kings Rally with 2-1 SO win
Lubbock, TX - Jaime Vandespyker stopped 35 of 36 shots, including Jon Foster's shootout effort in the fifth round of the shootout, to preserve a 2-1 overtime victory for the Amarillo Gorillas over the Lubbock Cotton Kings Friday night at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. Lubbock's overall record moves to 17-20-2 and they still lead the Interstate Batteries I-27 Series with a 4-2-1 record.
After a scoreless first period in which the Cotton Kings out-shot the Gorillas 13-5 and closed the period grabbing 12 of the final 13 shots fired, the Gorillas opened the scoring late in the second period. Derek Hahn split the Kings defense and stabbed the puck through the five-hole of Kings goaltender Lance Leslie for his 28th goal of the season. The goal, scored with 1:52 remaining in the period, ended Hahn's scoreless streak at five games.
Lubbock came back in the third period and tied the contest up at 1-1 7:01 into the frame with a goal by defenseman Ryan Moren. Moren picked up a chipped pass on the left side and worked his way alone on net and beat Vandespyker with a wrist shot through his left side. Lubbock received a power play opportunity with 15-seconds remaining in regulation and had several solid scoring chances, but Vandespyker made the important saves to force the game into a shootout.
Mike Brolsma gave the Kings a lift with a shootout conversion on the King opening round, but Derek Hahn fired a shot over the left side of Leslie in the third round. Lubbock couldn't regain the lead on their final attempts and Scott Wray found the five-hole in the fifth round for Amarillo to stand as the game winning goal.
Leslie stopped 21 of 22 shots in the contest, taking the overtime loss to have his record drop to 10-11-2. He came into the game with 5:26 remaining in the opening period after starting goaltender Tyson Gajda was injured. The penalties were at a minimum, with teams combining for 12 penalty minutes and each squad went 0 for 3 on power play opportunities.
The I-27 series moves to Amarillo Saturday night to complete the home-and-home weekend series with a 7 PM face-off at the Cal Farley Coliseum.
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