The El Paso Rhinos offense got rolling 11 minutes into their game against the Dallas Hawks and picked up speed as the game went on, cruising to a 13-1 win over their hosts and sending their record to 4-0-0 on the young season.
The Rhinos outshot the Hawks by an amazing 102-16 in the game, earning one of their largest margins of victory ever. The record is 17, set against the defunct Lafayette Cajun Catahoulas Feb. 9, 2008.
The game featured two hat tricks for the visitors, as Jeffrey Schmudlach scored the Texas hat trick while Bill Krueger scored three goals and each player notched an assist as the Rhinos stay on top of the Western States Hockey League’s Mid-West Division.
El Paso’s Austin Balko started the scoring at 11:00 of the first, followed by a power play goal from John Scorcia at 13:22 and Krueger’s first of the night at 19:55.
The second period saw the Rhinos outdo the first period with four goals. Zach Kohn tallied 4:27 into the frame and Schmudlach poured in his first two at 8:56 and 15:47, followed by Krueger at 17:37.
But the third period would see El Paso show its fitness, as he Rhinos tallied six goals, beginning with Schmudlach’s hat trick-earning strike goal at 10:54, Krueger’s “hatty” at 13:30 on the power play, followed by Braxton Green’s first just 27 seconds later.
Anthony Knuth notched his first just over after that. David Fegler followed at 16:06 and Schmudlach Texas-sized his hat trick on the power play at 13:15 of the third.
Wayne Johns scored for the Hawks to keep El Paso away from their largest margin of victory ever, but Andrew Duff was barely tested.
“Our D batlled hard all night,” said Rhinos coach Cory Herman, “The defensemen kept the puck away from the middle and Duff (the goaltender) did a great job, too.
“We cycled hard and kept the puck out of our own end and that led to some good breakouts against the Hawks.”
With two teams in the Metroplex nowadays, the Rhinos next face the Texas Renegades in Fort Worth Saturday afternoon at 12:30 MDT before returning to play the Dallas Hawks Sunday to wrap up their road trip.