Brandon Castro scored at 14:13 of the first period to give the Rampage a lead they kept for over 26 minutes, but just 27 seconds into the third, El Paso centerman Nick Gorup pounced on a rebound at the right post and tucked it in past a sprawled Davis to the tie game, 1-1.
Davis and El Paso goaltender Arthur Hollinger stopped everything else that came their way through regulation and the five-minute overtime.
The Rhinos beat Tulsa Friday, 2-1, and Saturday, 3-1, drowning Davis in a sea of shots; but though Sunday was El Paso\’s best shooting effort yet, Davis was just that much better. Davis faced 141 shots over three days but allowed only six goals.
With Hollinger, the Western States Hockey League\’s second-ranked goalie with a goals-against average of 1.54, and Davis, fifth-best in the league, Sunday\’s finale was sure to be decided by the slimmest of margins.
The game went all the way to the first round of sudden-death shootout, as both teams could only manage one goal in their first five attempts. But in the sixth frame, Jacob Pitts skated in on Hollinger from right circle and ripped his shot five-hole while Davis stoned Friday and Saturday\’s hero, Austin Balko,
Balko scored the game-winning goal in both games prior to
The Rhinos slip for the first time this season, but at 14-0-1
still pick up their 29th point to pace the Mid-West Division of the WSHL, leading the Rampage (9-7-2, 20 points) by nine.
For his part, Hollinger remains the league\’s winning-est
goaltender with a record of 9-0-1.
El Paso hits the road again next weekend, returning to suburban Denver, CO, to play the Outlaws in the team\’s second three-game series this season beginning Friday night at 7:00 p.m. MDT. Fans can follow the action
online at http://www.pointstreak.com/“www.pointstreak.com. Just
key, WSHL, into the hockey searchbar and follow the links for live in-game tracking, stats, standings and more.