Due to problems with the Catahoulas’ ice surface in Lafayette, LA, the series was played at theSierra-ProvidenceEventsCenter instead. Decimated by injuries and defections, Lafayette is finishing the season with a nine-player roster.
In the third game in as many days, the Catahoulas’ tired legs showed against the Mid-West Division champions. For El Paso’s part, the Rhinos had no letdowns though they had their second straight Mid-West Division championship wrapped up with two wins in Tulsa last weekend.
Arthur Hollinger gets his third shutout of the season between the pipes for El Paso , dropping his goals-against average to 2.34, sixth best in the Western States Hockey League. Hollinger also got an assist for his pass to Jeffery Schmudlach on the game’s final goal.
Schmudlach’s two-goal, one-assist effort netted him First Star of the Game, followed by Zach Kohn and Austin Balko, respectively, each with one goal and two assists on the night.
The Rhinos also worked well on special teams, killing off five Lafayette power plays, scoring one of their own with Schmudlach’s first of the night at 12:24 of the second period, and notching their league-leading 20th shorthanded goal of the season with Austin Balko’s hard-work strike at 13:17 of the first period.
El Paso ’s power play is also tops in the Western States Hockey League, as the Rhinos successfully convert over 28 percent of their advantages. The penalty kill is second in the league at 91 percent.
El Paso plays host to the Colorado Outlaws next weekend at theSierra-ProvidenceEventsCenter . Game times Friday and Saturday are at 7:30 p.m. MST, and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. MST.
The games can be viewed with a subscription courtesy of B2 Networks (www.b2livetv.com) at www.elpasrhinos.com