Remember the game on January 12th, when Jan Melichercik's overtime shootout goal against Odessa was ruled a “no goal” and Lubbock lost, or the time on January 4th when El Paso won a shootout after tying the game on a shorthanded goal in the final minute of regulation with their goal tender pulled? In their previous two seasons, the Cotton Kings have come across roadblocks to stumble themselves in the postseason jockeying. During the 1999 - 2000 season, the Cotton Kings finished one win away from having home ice advantage for the second round of the playoffs and would have had a first round bye. The Austin Ice Bats claimed the home ice advantage, by that one victory, and knocked the Cotton Kings out of the playoffs in the decisive Game 5 in Austin. Last season, the Cotton Kings finished the regular season one point from the Odessa Jackalopes, who claimed the Western Division Regular Season Champion title. This season, the Cotton Kings are hoping the lack of points from one game will not cost them a playoff spot.
Blaz Emersic has been named the Cotton Kings player of the week for March 4th – 10th. The young winger captured three goals and four assists for seven points in four games on the week for the Kings. Emersic, who will compete for the Slovenian National Team in the World Championships this spring, led all Cotton Kings scorers on the week and is currently leading the CHL with an active point per game streak of nine games. Dave MacIntyre was a strong consideration after compiling six points off of four goals and two assists. MacIntyre recorded a four goal game on Friday against Amarillo, to become the first player in franchise history to complete the task on home ice for the Cotton Kings.
With the ABC Rodeo occupying the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, the ice is gone, the rodeo dirt is in, and the Cotton Kings are on the road. Lubbock begins a five game 11 day road trip Tuesday night battling in Albuquerque with the New Mexico Scorpions. The Kings will wrap up the week in Corpus Christi on Friday and Saturday in San Antonio, before starting the second half of the trip next Tuesday (March 12th) back in Albuquerque. In all, the Cotton Kings will travel over 2,550 miles over the 11 day trip, which would be compared to driving from Dallas to Miami, Florida and back.
With Lubbock beginning the week four points behind the New Mexico Scorpions for the final playoff spot, the Cotton Kings will look for previous history to establish itself again. Lubbock is 16 - 5 - 3 (72.9%) in the month of March all-time. During the 1999 - 2000 season, the Cotton Kings went 8 - 3 - 1 during the month of March. Last season was not much different, as the Kings posted an 8 - 2 - 2 March record. On the road, Lubbock is 7 - 3 - 1 all-time in March, with a 4 - 1 - 1 March road record last season.
WHERE IS THE COMPETITION?
The following is this week’s schedule of teams the Cotton Kings are battling for the last playoff spot:
TEAM STANDING POINTS SCHEDULE
New Mexico 65 TUE: vs LUB FRI: vs SNG SAT: vs WIC
El Paso 62 (1 game in hand) TUE: @ TUL WED: @ OKC FRI: @ SNT
San Angelo 60 TUE: @ SNT FRI: @ NMX SAT: @ ODE
WEEK IN REVIEW
Tue. Feb. 26 4-2 W @ Amarillo Top Star: LUB-Blaz Emersic 2 assists
Wed. Feb. 27 2-5 L @ Amarillo T op Star: AMA-Jeff Johnstone 3 pts (2g,1a)
Fri. Mar. 1 6-2 W vs Amarillo Top Star: LUB-Dave MacIntyre 4 goal game
Sat. Mar. 2 4-5 OTL vs Odessa Top Star: ODE-Mike Sanderson 3 pts (1g,2a)
Tue. Mar. 5 8:11 @ New Mexico Scorpions Radio: KOOL 98.1 FM
Fri. Mar. 8 7:05 @ Corpus Christi IceRays Radio: KFYO 790 AM
Sat. Mar. 9 7:05 @ San Antonio Iguanas Radio: KKAM 1340 AM