(EL PASO, TX) — Petr Ceslik and Jonah Pearson each scored twice and the El Paso Rhinos edged out a game Wichita Junior Thunder team to win their home-opener, 7-5.
The Rhinos had built a 4-0 lead midway through the second period. Daniil Fursa started the scoring at 13:07 of the first, followed 56 seconds later by Adam Cech. Ceslik notched his first on a short-handed effort at 18:02. Pearson added a marker at 7:25 of the second before the visitors got on the board.
But Wichita would score three unanswered goals to put the heat on the home team. Zachary Balodis tallied at 9:45, Peter Cicmanec at 18:42and Jet Bell just 53 seconds into the third period to make the score 4-3, and the sellout crowd at the El Paso County Events Center was looking for something to cheer for.
They would find it as centerman Jonathan Vellieux found the net at 6:41.
Cicmanec scored again for the visitors at 9:32, but this time Rhinos answered with two more — Ceslik at 11:40, then Pearson on a breakaway at 13:41.
Wichita’s Marc Zajic wrapped the scoring with a goal at 18:20 of the third.
El Paso improves to 3-1-0 on the young season while the Junior Thunder drop to 7-9-0. The teams play twice more, at 7:30 p.m. MDTSaturday night, then at 4:30 p.m. MST Sunday afternoon. All home games can be viewed through the link provided at the team’s website,www.elpasorhinos.com.