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Scorpions Hold Off Kings 5-3

February 18, 2007 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

Rio Rancho, NM - Lance Herauf collected a pair of goals, including a goal 23-seconds into the contest, as the New Mexico Scorpions never looked back and defeated the Lubbock Cotton Kings 5-3 Sunday night at the Santa Ana Star Center. It was the first regulation loss by the Kings in the third game of a "three-in-three" set and they are now 6-1-1 in those games (both losses to New Mexico).

For the second straight game, the opposing team scored on the first shot of the game. New Mexico's Herauf lit the lamp just 23-seconds into the game on a breakaway, marking the fastest goal to start a game by a Kings opponent this season. Ryan McLeod increased the lead to 2-0 with 5:57 remaining in the period by hammering a drop pass in the right circle past Kings goaltender JF Perras. Just 4:29 later, Craig Macdonald converted on a Scorpions power play chance with a goal to close the first period scoring with the Scorpions leading 3-0.

Teams combined for seven power play opportunities in the second period and each team even had time on 5-on-3 advantages, but neither team was able to capitalize with a power play goal in the period. Lubbock did garner a goal while on 4-on-4 even strength play with 8:32 remaining in the period, as a Troy Neumeier slap shot whistled past the reach of goaltender David Cacciola to cut the Scorpions lead to 3-1. The goal was Neumeier's first of the season.

The Kings continued in the third period to climb back into the game and a goal by Simon Watson on the power play 4:11 into the period cut the deficit to 3-2. Herauf registered his second goal of the game 4:34 later crashing on net and sliding into a rebound, knocking the puck past Perras for a 4-2 lead. Corey Rutt tallied a goal on a wrap-around with 1:41 remaining to put the Kings back within one (4-3), and attempted a late surge with an extra attacker on the ice, but Josh Garbutt's empty net goal with less than six-seconds remaining put the game out of reach.

Cacciola improves to 15-2-1 this season in net and remains perfect (9-0-0) at home, as he stopped 30 of 33 shots. Perras suffered the loss in net, allowing four goals on 39 shots, and drops to 11-13-2. Each team had a power play goal, with Lubbock going 1 for 5 and New Mexico going 1 for 7.

Lubbock returns home and will host a pair of weekend home games, starting with a Friday night hosting of Oklahoma City at the City Bank Coliseum.

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