Graham Powers Lubbock's Buss Through Oklahoma City 5-2
Oklahoma City, OK - Lubbock Cotton Kings goaltender Brad Buss made his professional debut stopping 33 of 35 shots, and Nolan Graham added two of the Cotton Kings four power play goals to lead them to a 5-2 win Tuesday night. The win, which improved the Kings record to 18-20-3, was the Kings first ever in Oklahoma City (and at the Ford Center) and it ends a four-game road winless streak.
Oklahoma City controlled most of the first period tempo, out-shooting the Kings 13-8 in the period, and they opened the game's scoring. Kahlil Thomas beat the Cotton Kings defense down ice, chasing after a loose puck, and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Buss with 6:25 remaining in the period. Lubbock received a four-minute power play opportunity late in the period after Jared Dumba argued with official Keith Kaval after a slashing infraction. Graham capitalized on the power play with a goal from the left slot, as he played Stacey Bauman's rebound and flipped the puck past Sean Connors while diving into the slot with 1:40 remaining in the period.
Lubbock entered the contest with the lowest power play percentage on the road, but they continued to find success against the Blazers penalty kill unit in the second period. They opened the second period scoring with a power play goal by Mike Brolsma, who beat Connors from the low-point with a feed from Jon Foster 4:09 into the period. Oklahoma City had a power play opportunity in the period, but the Blazers, who rank second in the CHL with just five shorthanded goals allowed, let the Cotton Kings take advantage of their opportunity with a shorthanded goal by Matt McNeely with 6:36 remaining in the period for a 3-1 lead.
The power play goals continued in the third period, with Nolan Graham grabbing his second of the game 4:08 into the period. Graham was trying to pass the puck into the slots and the puck deflected off a defender and snuck past Connors for a 4-1 lead. Oklahoma City then enjoyed the power play with a goal by Joe Dustin with a shot from the blueline off a face-off draw 7:55 into the period. The Blazers had a goal disallowed due to a high stick moments later and Emery Olauson, playing in his 100th pro game, put the game away with an empty net power play goal with 51-seconds left to seal the 5-2 win.
Connors suffered the loss in net for the Blazers, allowing four goals on 32 shots to have his record drop to 20-12-2. Lubbock went 4 for 9 on the power play in the game to tie a game high in power play goals this season, while the Blazers were 1 for 5 on the man advantage. The win was just the second for Lubbock against the Blazers all-time (11 overall meetings) and the first in regulation.
The Kings return back to Lubbock to host the other Sooner State team Friday, as they welcome the Tulsa Oilers at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. Lubbock closes the week Saturday in Colorado.
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Central Hockey League Stories from February 7, 2006
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- Oilers, SteelHounds Meet - Tulsa Oilers
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- Cotton Kings Win Points, Lose Shootouts - Lubbock Cotton Kings
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