The El Paso Rhinos had a seven-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 12-2 win over Wichita Jr. Thunder.
Chad Cesarz had one goal and two assists to lead El Paso Rhinos. Cesarz scored 10:35 into the first period to make the score 3-1 El Paso Rhinos. David Nelson provided the assist.
El Paso Rhinos made Wichita Jr. Thunder’s goaltenders to work in net, launching 59 shots and forcing 47 saves. Dakota McDonald made 37 stops and Jake Larson made 10. El Paso Rhinos bested its season scoring average. This season, El Paso Rhinos averages 7.1 goals per contest. El Paso Rhinos got an offensive boost from its blueliners, who contributed three goals during the game.
El Paso Rhinos also got points from Lucas Dickison, who also finished with one goal and one assist, Nelson, who also registered two goals and one assist, Nick Plesa, who also had one goal and one assist, Brandon Edson, who also grabbed one goal and one assist, Roman Konecny, who also finished with one goal and three assists to lead the team in points, and Matthew Plesa, who also registered two goals and one assist. Others who scored for El Paso Rhinos included Dakota Beaulieu, Jeremy Rezaeepour, and John Ludwig, who scored one goal each. In addition, El Paso Rhinos received assists from Eliot Herz, who had one, Andrew Bradford, who had three, and Halen Sampson, Tom Bartel, and Peter Plesa, who contributed two a piece.
Wichita Jr. Thunder was forced to rely heavily on their penalty kill unit throughout the game, as it racked up 24 penalty minutes.
Wichita Jr. Thunder was helped by Keegan Hull, who grabbed one goal and one assist. Hull scored on the power play 3:13 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Wichita Jr. Thunder. Wichita Jr. Thunder earned a power play opportunity when Chris Wilhite was put in the box for hooking. Braden Smith assisted on the tally. Wichita Jr. Thunder additionally got points from Smith, who also had one goal and one assist. Other players who recorded assists for Wichita Jr. Thunder were Carter Suski and Tyler Larson, who each chipped in one.
Gabriel Gougeon rejected 22 shots on goal for El Paso Rhinos. El Paso Rhinos incurred 18 minutes in penalty time with nine minors. Wichita Jr. Thunder registered one goal on five power play opportunities.