Tyler Basham and Tommy Malkmus each notched Texas hat tricks — an incredible three of Basham\’s four goals coming short-handed, as the El Paso Rhinos bounced the Wichita Thunder, 14-2, Friday night.
The Rhinos\’ special teams were dominant as El Paso (13-3-1, 27 points) went 2-for-5 on the power play and scored six short-handed goals to pace the league with 21.
Wichita (6-11-0, 12 points) remain fourth in the Midwest Conference while the Rhinos lead the Mountain Conference by seven over the idle Boulder Bison.
Basham scored a short-handed goal in each of the three periods, adding an even-strength strike in the second period.
Team captain and El Paso native Mike Rivera added two while Chad Cesarz, Jan Dam, David Nelson and Luke Dotto scored as well.
The Rhinos outshot the Junior Thunder, 72-13. In two games, El Paso has outscored the visitors, 29-7.
The Rhinos and Wichita play once more Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. MST to round out the series. For tickets and information, contact the El Paso Rhinos front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.