Tulsa had 40 shots to the Rhinos’ 31 becoming only the second Western States Hockey League team to outshoot the defending Thorne Cup champs this season.
Eric Labounty and Bill Krueger gave the visitors a 2-1 lead after the first period, but the Rampage fought hard, shutting down El Paso’s high-flying offense over the final 40 minutes.
Tulsa clawed their way back into the game with physical play and timely goaltending. In a relatively clean game, the Rampage still spent twice as much time in the penalty box as the Rhinos (12 minutes to six for El Paso). But goaltender Zac Enstrom and solid penalty kept the puck out of the net in Tulsa’s end.
Bobby Watson tied the game at 14:48 of the second and Derek Thompson notched the game-winner at 12:47 of the third to hand El Paso just its third loss of the season.
Despite the win, Tulsa (24-10-1, 49 points) still sits in third place in the Mid-West Division behind the Rhinos (34-3-1, 69 points) and the San Antonio Diablos (24-11-2, 50 points).
The teams play twice more Saturday and Sunday. For more information and to follow the games, head to www.elpasorhinos.com.