(EL PASO, TX) — The El Paso Rhinos got scoring from six different players and survived a number of penalties to sweep the resilient San Diego Gulls, 6-2, Sunday night.
Quebec native Fabien Dube started the scoring just 2:47 into the game; but El Paso, not content with playing straightforward hockey, committed eight penalties in the first period.
After Rhinos goalie Adam Vay pulled off a number of acrobatic saves to preserve the home team\’s lead, San Diego capitalized on the second of three two-man advantages as Nick Strohmeyer beat a prone Adam Vay to tie the game at 17:50.
Despite the Gulls\’ efforts El Paso skated into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, courtesy of Peter Plesa\’s goal with just seven seconds left.
The Gulls scored another power play goal to tie the game a second time as Wesley Varrasso beat Vay at 6:48.
El Paso committed another eight penalties in the second frame, but, though San Diego fought hard, it was the Rhinos who scored the next goal at 14:27.
Defenseman Jack Strusz gathered a loose puck in the El Paso zone and zipped a perfectly-placed two-line pass to centerman Tom Bartel creating a two-on-one with Dakota Beaulieu.
All alone with Gulls goalie Eric Eidessen, Beaulieu touched the puck twice — backhand-forehand — to score what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Defenseman Chris Wilhite scored another late goal for the hosts at 19:22 of the second.
The Rhinos got their league-leading sixth short-handed goal as Matt Plesa took a Beaulieu pass on an odd-man rush to beat Eidessen at 9:43 of the third.
Chad Cesarz scored El Paso\’s lone power play goal to wrap the scoring at 19:21 of the third.
The Rhinos will take the week off before hosting the New Mexico Renegades in a two-game exhibition series in two weekends. For tickets and information contact the El Paso Rhinos\’ front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.