Lubbock Cotton Kings Game Night Preview
2/23/06 - TULSA OILERS (25-20-4) @ LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (20-24-3) - 7:05 LUBBOCK MUNICIPAL COLISEUM
It was just two weeks ago that the Lubbock Cotton Kings hosted the Tulsa Oilers following a Tuesday night road win. Lubbock had defeated the Oklahoma City Blazers on the road but returned home flat and struggled in a 5-2 loss to Tulsa on February 10th. Tonight's circumstances are similar. Lubbock is coming in off a 7-4 Tuesday night road win in Memphis and coming home to host the Tulsa Oilers, but they can't afford to have the same result as the previous meeting. The Kings are coming into tonight sitting 8 standing-points out of a playoff spot and a win would place them six points back since this is the only league game tonight. It's a huge game for Tulsa as well, as they sit two standing-points behind Wichita for the last playoff spot in the Northern Conference, and a win would place them ahead of Wichita.
The Lubbock Cotton Kings and Tulsa Oilers meet for the third time this season and the second in Lubbock. It will be the final meeting between the two clubs this season. Lubbock has a 5-3-0 all-time record against the Oilers, but Tulsa leads the season series 2-0-0 and defeated the Kings 5-2 on February 10th in Lubbock. Tulsa's Jaroslav Cesky leads the series with 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points, while Lubbock's Kyle Nosan and Josh Anderson each have 2 points (1g,1a) in the series. Cesky's numbers mark him as the Oilers all-time leading scorer against Lubbock. Jan Melichercik leads the series all-time for Lubbock with 7 points off 2 goals and 5 assists.
THE LAST TIME
2/10/06 - Jaroslav Cesky was involved in all five Tulsa Oilers goals, as his hat trick and two assists led the Oilers to a 5-2 win over the Lubbock Cotton Kings at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.
Tulsa opened the scoring early with Jim Dahl following up on Cesky's rebound and putting the puck past Kings goaltender Brad Buss 5:34 into the game.
Josh Anderson was back in the Kings lineup and he tied the game 2:14 into the second period with a shorthanded goal, but Tulsa answered right back on the same power play session with Cesky getting the power play goal 19-seconds later. Lubbock capitalized on a power play opportunity of their own 2:17 later with Jonathan Foster getting a goal the hard way. Foster fired a slap shot that ripped through the web of the glove of Oilers goaltender Marco Emond and into the net to tie the game at 2-2. With 5:08 remaining in the period, Klage Kaebel was left all alone in the left slot during four-on-four play and had no problem placing Cesky's feed into the back of the net to regain the Oilers lead at 3-2.
Cesky helped the Oilers run away with the contest in the third period with a pair of goals. His first came 6:30 into the period and the second came with 1:13 remaining on an empty net tally. The hat trick for Cesky is his first of the season.
Buss took his first professional loss in net in his home debut, allowing four goals on 31 shots. Emond stopped 32 of 34 in net for the Oilers. Each team had special team tallies, as Lubbock was 1 for 5 on the power play, while Tulsa was 2 for 6.
Lubbock is without Brett Koscielny tonight, as the rookie goaltender is on the injured reserve list. Tulsa released Curtis Voth yesterday and making his Oilers debut tonight is former King Arturs Kupaks.
Kings - 43 points, 3rd place, 20 points back, Southwest Division. Tulsa - 54 points, 4th place, 21 points back, Northwest Division.
Kings - Bobby Brown / Nolan Graham 39 points; Nolan Graham 23 goals; Jan Melichercik / Bobby Brown 27 assists; Paul Fioroni 112 penalty minutes. Tulsa - Jim Dahl 65 points; Several tied 30 goals; Jim Dahl 35 assists; Shawn Futers 203 penalty minutes.
Kings - Power play: 15.0% 12th, Penalty killing: 82.3% 13th. Tulsa - Power play: 16.3% 9th , Penalty killing: 82.9% 11th.
Kings - Lance Leslie (11-11-3, 1 SO, 3.27), Brad Buss (2-4-0, 0 SO, 4.07). Tulsa - Marco Emond (19-12-1, 0 SO, 3.20), Chris King (6-8-3, 0 SO, 3.06)
Lubbock - Saturday, February 25th 7:05 PM vs. Amarillo Gorillas Lubbock Municipal Coliseum
Tulsa - Saturday, February 25th 7:35 PM vs. Wichita Thunder Maxwell Convention Center
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