(EL PASO, TX) — The Dallas Snipers went toe-to-toe with the defending WSHL champion El Paso Rhinos for 40 minutes, but a disastrous start to the third period doomed the visitors’ chances to extend their season.
El Paso scored three goals in the opening of the third to take the game, 5-2, and the best-of-three Midwest Division semifinal series, 2-0.
El Paso’s Jordan Cullum opened the scoring just into the game, but it took the Snipers just to equalize as Alexander Yunanov scored on the power play.
Mitch Cobby scored for the hosts as a Dallas clearance attempt fell right to his stick in the middle of the slot at of the first.
The Snipers would answer again before the end of the period, though. Rhinos’ goalie Alek Lazarski turned away Trent Williams shot from the left circle, but Dallas’ Dusan Olsa found the puck in a mad scramble at the crease and put it home to tie the game, 2-2, at of the first.
Perhaps more impressive were the Snipers’ defensive efforts in a scoreless second frame. Goaltender Sander Berg stopped all 13 El Paso shots in the period and Dallas created a number of chances in the Rhinos’ zone.
But then came the decisive third period — and the decision wasn’t long in the making.
Team captain Sebastian Borg notched the game-winner just 23 second into the period, lifting an amazing shot from the high in the right circle that beat Berg over the shoulder, bounced off the crossbar and into the net.
Two Snipers’ errors cost Dallas dearly, as a pair of clearance attempts instead found the back of Dallas’ net. Kendal Craig, then Bryton Tomko, found themselves all alone in the middle of the slot, courtesy of a pair of Dallas passes that didn’t find their marks.
Berg stood no chance as Craig one-timed his shot for the goal at , followed by Tomko’s short-handed score at that came in virtually the same fashion.
The Rhinos will face the winner of the Oklahoma City Blazers-Springfield Express series next weekend in El Paso. That series is tied at one game apiece going into decisive third game.
For ticket and information, contact the El Paso Rhinos’ front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825), or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.