Rhinos 5, Renegades 2

Five different Rhinos scored goals as El Paso opened up a three-game series with the New Mexico Renegades with a 5-2 win in Rio Rancho, NM.

The win now ties the Rhinos (21-9-2, 44 points) with the idle Texas Brahmas for second place in the Mid-West Division of the Western States Hockey League. El Paso also has six games in hand on Texas, which resumes play tomorrow night after a two-week layoff.

Defenseman Tyler Benson kept his hot hand offensively, scoring a power play goal at 13:15 of the first period to open the scoring, followed exactly 1:01 later by Ryan Harrison.

New Rhinos forward Matt Tritsch continues to impress, ducking in a goal as time expired in the first period to extend his scoring streak to three games.

League-leading scorer Tyler Beasley also keeps pouring it on, notching a power play goal at 10:53 of the second period, while linemate Todd Thomas wrapped up the scoring at 4:09 of the third period.

Beasley earned his 29th goal of the season and with two assists now has 64 points, pacing the WSHL in goals, assists and points.

Goalkeeper Trent Casper stopped 27 of 29 Renegades shots, allowing only two goals in the second period, one on a New Mexico power play.

The Rhinos and Renegades will play twice more at Blades Multiplex Arena in Rio Rancho, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. MST.

El Paso returns home next week to face the Brahmas in the Events Center in a three-game series that begins Thursday night, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. MST. For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos’ front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.