The El Paso Rhinos downed the San Antonio Diablos Sunday afternoon in the Alamo City, 8-1, for a clean sweep of the weekend series, scoring 23 goals in three games.
Head coach Cory Herman, who didn\’t doubt but openly questioned the Rhinos\’ lack of offense in the opening weekend, was impressed with El Paso\’s second road trip, saying simply, “They just came alive this weekend.”
As impressive as the Rhinos offense was the goaltending of Andrew Duff. The Brighton, MI, native stopped 11 of 11 shots in one period on Sunday and notched 67 saves while allowing only two goals all weekend, including a shutout in the series opener Friday, stopping all 23 Diablos shots.
Another aspect of El Paso\’s game that got untracked Sunday was special teams. The Rhinos had four power play goals including the final two goals in a five-goal first period.
Returning forward Nick Gualano started the onslaught with his goal just
3:34 into the game, followed by another familiar face, Tyler Benson, at 7:08.
New forward Donald Geary continued his goal-scoring ways with his fifth of the young season at 9:52, followed by defenseman Andrew Ketterer on the power play at 14:07 and Gualano with this second, also with the advantage, at 17:35.
North Pole, AK, native Navarone Copley scored on a Rhinos\’ 5-on-3 just
1:17 into the second frame, followed by a fourth power play goal from Trevor Erickson at 14:55.
Winger Vinny Morris scored his first goal as a Rhino, wrapping up the scoring at 16:41 of the second period.
El Paso will return home in time for classes Monday before hitting the road in a series that will determine the early leader in the Mid-West Division of the Western States Hockey League; at Tulsa, October 2-4. The Rampage currently lead the Mid-West with a perfect 6-0 mark, but the three-time defending division champion Rhinos are on their heels at 5-1.
El Paso will open its home schedule Oct. 23-25 against the Boulder Bison. For season tickets and information, call the Rhinos front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.