(EL PASO, TX) — Connor Beaudet scored twice and the El Paso Rhinos doubled the Tulsa Junior Oilers, 6-3, Saturday to earn their fourth-straight win — their longest win streak of the season.
On the heels of goalie Ryan Buttazoni’s shutout in the Rhinos 4-0 win Friday, El Paso (8-11-0-1, 17 points) has an opportunity to earn its first series sweep of the season Sunday afternoon. More importantly, a win could put the Rhinos two points out of fifth place in the six-team Midwest Division headed into the Western States Hockey League Showcase in Las Vegas next weekend.
Beaudet has scored two or more goals in three straight games and already leads the team in goals with 12 in just 11 appearances.
Saturday’s game featured a wild first eight minutes, as both teams traded goals. El Paso got another early start as Cam Cross one-timed Jonah Pearson’s pass out of the back, beating Tulsa starting goalie, Philip Babb, at 3:02.
But the lead would only last 53 seconds as Sam Mancini got a stick to Kyle Schnettler’s shot from the blue line for the equalizer.
Tulsa would take its first lead of the weekend as Maxim Chegrintcev tallied at 6:49, but 13 seconds later it was the Rhinos’ turn as defenseman Jackson Donnell found an opening down the right wing into the Junior Oilers’ zone before zipping a pass to Petr Ceslik, who one-timed the shot past Babb at 7:02.
El Paso took the lead for good just over a minute later as Beaudet notched his first at 8:05.
The Rhinos also started the second frame strong, as Evan Hunchar scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal just 52 seconds into the period, followed 35 seconds later by Joe Roach.
Beaudet scored the final goal for the hosts at 2:03 of the third period, and Tulsa’s Chegrintcev got his brace at 6:21.
The two teams play once more Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. MST. For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos’ front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com. You can also download the Rhinos mobile App to keep up with this game.