The El Paso Rhinos won their 10th straight game going away Saturday night in Albuquerque, dominating the New Mexico Renegades from the start, 9-1.
Along with a 6-0 shutout win yesterday, the Rhinos have outscored the Renegades, 15-1, in two games. Goalie Matt Dizgun notched his second straight shutout in Friday\’s win, and Keenan Wallace followed that by allowing only one goal Saturday.
Just 17 years old, Dizgun has not allowed a goal in seven periods. The Montreal, PQ, native came in for returning netminder Andrew Duff after Duff was injured in the first game of the Tulsa series two weeks ago, earning praise from his head coach, Cory Herman.
“Max played well, a very calm goaltender who doesn\’t panic,” said Herman. “He is very composed and played well under pressure.”
In Saturday\’s game, Swedish forward Timothy Avegard continued his big weekend, scoring twice to go with his pair of goals Friday night.
Alaska native Navarone Copley also scored twice Saturday, his eighth and ninth goals of the season, second to returning forward Nick Gualano\’s 12.
Gualano also tallied for the visitors Saturday, starting a four-goal second period for El Paso, much to the delight of the many Rhinos fans visiting Albuquerque as the two cities renew a hockey rivalry that dates back over a decade.
Both head coaches played in the minor pro version of the Rio Grande Rivalry — Herman for the El Paso Buzzards and Peter Ambroziak for the New Mexico Scorpions. Each enjoyed their new homes so much they stayed to teach the game they love.
As tight as the Buzzards-Scorpions rivalry was, through two games the Rhinos-Renegades has shown itself to be a bit one-sided.
Herman knows that might not last, saying in a recent Rhinos\’ blog, “They\’ll throw everything at us. They\’ll be riled up.”
The Renegades have one more chance this weekend as the three-game series will wrap up Sunday afternoon. El Paso will then return home to ready for a three-game series at the Sierra Providence Events Center beginning Friday, Oct. 23.
For the third consecutive season, the Rhinos will unfurl a Mid-West Division championship banner before taking on the Boulder Bison. For season tickets and information, call the Rhinos front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.