The El Paso Rhinos dished out the most dominant win in their three-season history Sunday afternoon in Addison, TX, outshooting the host Dallas Hawks, 91-18, en route to a 15-0 shellacking of their Mid-West Division foe.
It was the largest margin of victory for El Paso ever.
Dallas hasn’t helped its own cause much. In their five games against the Rhinos this season, the Hawks have managed only three goals to 61 for El Paso, and have been outshot, 432-77.
“We don’t ever look to embarrass anybody,” said Rhinos head coach Cory Herman after the game, noting there is no poll position for which to play in the league standings, only the team’s own high standards. “We’re looking to get better, too. We have four talented lines and if the point is teaching these guys to go hard for a full 60 minutes, to challenge for championships and a chance at going to nationals, I can’t tell them to take a shift off.”
To that end, Herman singled out El Paso’s fourth line centered by three-year veteran Zach Goller of Corpus Christi, TX, along with new Rhinos T.J. Burger and Will Gillis.
The line normally used to check the opposition’s offense created the most offense for the Rhinos Sunday, contributing six of the 15 goals. Gillis finished with a Texas hat trick (four goals) plus two assists for six points on the afternoon, while Burger had two goals and two assists and Goller had three helpers.
Goaltender Arthur Hollinger turned away all 18 Hawks shots for his eighth shutout in an El Paso uniform.
Braxton Green also contributed a hat trick for the visitors, scoring a goal in each period.
The Rhinos win keeps them ahead of the San Antonio Diablos atop the Mid-West Division of the Western States Hockey League with a 17-1-0 record and 34 points.
After dropping a game to the Tulsa Rampage Saturday night – giving El Paso the top spot all to itself – the Diablos protected home ice Sunday in a 5-2 win over Tulsa to improve to 16-5-0.
The Rhinos will return home in time for classes Monday morning before heading to the Alamo City for a three-game weekend series against the Diablos that should clear the division picture considerably, one way or the other.