The El Paso’s Frankie Posilico fired in the game-winning goal in the second period and the Rhinos’ defense and forechecking made the lead stick for a 5-2 win over the Texas Brahmas.
For the third straight game, Texas drew first blood as Kevin O’Donnell put rifled his shot top shelf at 5:58 of the first period.
El Paso’s Todd Thomas equalized on the power play at 7:36 of the first, but defenseman Peyton Hutchinson lifted in a shot from the blue line just over four minutes later to give the visitors the lead again, 2-1.
The Rhinos answered the bell again, though, as Ryan Harrison scored at 12:29 to tie the game, 2-2.
Posilico then gave El Paso its first lead in the first period with a beautiful backhanded shot at 14:55. With momentum carrying him away from the net, Posilico popped his shot over starting goaltender Fadi Hurtubise for the 3-2 Rhinos’ lead.
For the second straight night, Kyle Shapiro scored the fourth goal in the game, throwing a shot that beat Hurtubise just 10 seconds into the second frame.
Garrett Poland ended the scoring with an empty-net strike at 19:39.
El Paso will head for the Western States Hockey League’s showcase in Las Vegas, NV, later this month before the Holidays.