On Friday night at the Sierra Providence Events Center the El Paso Rhinos defeated the visiting Dallas Snipers by a score of 8-1. The Rhinos took the lead midway through the first period, on forward Jiri Pestuka’s first goal of the night, and never looked back. Goaltender Adam Vay did not allow a goal until almost midway through the third period. Even more impressive was the fact that Vay survived nine power plays, including three separate five on three advantages for the Snipers. The only goal Vay allowed was at even strength.
The star of the night was Pestuka who tallied in all three periods on the way to his third hat trick of the season. Pestuka now has a total of 37 goals on the season to lead the team. Pestuka scored at 10:36 of the first with a wrist shot that beat Dallas goaltender Alex Moustakis high on the glove side. In the second period, Pestuka scored on a quick blast from about 30 feet out to beat Moustakis at 11:44.
Following a five minute major and game misconduct on Dallas forward Justin Becton for slashing forward Marek Langhammer at 12:53 of the second, the Rhinos scored twice while on the power play. First, defenseman John Bowen blasted a shot from the blue line, through a screen and into the top corner of the net at 14:28. Three minutes later Langhammer would get some retribution following Becton’s slash when Moustakis mistakenly allowed a dump in on goal to trickle in.
Early in the third period, Pestuka would finish off his hat trick with another beautiful top shelf goal off of a great cross crease pass from fellow forward Sebastian Borg. New Rhino forward Jordan Cullum scored in his home debut at 3:52. Cullum pounded the puck in on the doorstep following a nice centering pass from forward Gavin Abbott. Cullum has now scored a goal in all four games with the Rhinos.
After Snipers forward Nikkita Perviakov scored a late goal, Rhinos forward Jeramy Rezaeepour scored only his second goal of the season. Borg would round out the scoring and win dollar hot dogs for the crowd with a nice wrister with only two minutes to go in the game
The Rhinos and Snipers will face off again tomorrow night at the Sierra Providence Events Center at 7:30pm.
– Jason Green