El Paso goaltender Cooper Frederick stopped 29 of 30 Tulsa shots and had two assists, as Nick Gorup scored two goals as the Rhinos rolled Sunday afternoon, downing their Mid-West Division nemesis, the Tulsa Rampage, 6-1.
Though the Rampage took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, courtesy of a power play goal by defenseman Grant Ehlert at 15:52, El Paso dominated the final 40 minutes, roaring back with a four-goal second period.
Nick Gorup tied the score at 5:18 and Billy Krueger one-handed the game-winner past Tulsa goalie Brenden Parkyn with a Rampage defender draped on his back at 9:09.
Gorup wheeled by a defender, deked Parkyn and rolled his second goal between the pads at 13:59 and newcomer Casey Lutz scored his second goal in his second game, one-timing a bounce off the end boards inside the near post at 18:18.
El Paso picked up two power play goals in the third period to wrap up the scoring, as defenseman Drew Montague went coast-to-coast and rifled his shot from above the left circle past a stunned Parkyn at 7:39.
Forward David Fegler roofed home his power play goal from low in the left circle at 15:11 for the sixth and final Rhinos goal.
After a rough 3-2 overtime loss at the hands of Tulsa Friday night, Frederick responded against a persistent Rampage attack. In the closest shot count in any game this season, El Paso only outshot Tulsa by two in Sunday’s game, 32-30.
The defending Thorne Cup champion Rhinos now lead the Mid-West Division of the WSHL by eight points over the Rampage, becoming the first team in the league to crest 50 points.
El Paso (25-1-1) has 51 points while Tulsa (21-8-1) is second in the division with 43.
The Rhinos will head to the Western States Hockey League Showcase in Las Vegas, NV, next weekend before the players go home for the Holidays. El Paso will play the San Diego Gulls at 8:30 a.m. and the Valencia Flyers at 2:40 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19; the Capital Thunder at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20; and will wrap up the Showcase with a game against the team they defeated for the Thorne Cup, the Phoenix Polar Bears, at 8 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 21