There was no love lost between the El Paso Rhinos and the Oklahoma City Blazers this Valentine’s Day. The two teams totaled 46 penalty minutes in a game that saw the Rhinos lose 6-4 to the second place Blazers. Goaltender Adam Vay received the day off after shutting out the Blazers on Friday. Newly acquired goaltender Alek Lazarski allowed six goals on 28 shots.
The first period opened with no goals for either team on 12 shots for the Rhinos and 16 for the Blazers. Both teams totaled 9 minutes in penalties with forward Gavin Abbott receiving a fighting major after arranging a fight with Oklahoma City center Luke Galatiuk. The second period saw both teams total 21 penalty minutes together. El Paso forward Bryton Tomko was challenged to a fight early in the period by Blazer defenseman Dylan Lamontagne.
Despite the fight taking place at the 7:05 mark, both teams were already tied 2-2 after four very early goals. Following an OKC goal after only two minutes, new Rhino forward Jeremy Razaeepour scored with an assist from forward Marek Langhammer. About 50 seconds later, the OKC defenseman Miroslav Pokorny would score to take the lead back for the Blazers. Just before Tomko and Lamontagne would square off, new defenseman Brennan Johnsson would tally his first as a Rhino with an assist, once again, from Langhammer. Before the period would end, forward Jordan Cullum and forward Martin Hanl would tally to take the Rhinos into the locker room with a 4-3 lead.
In the third period, the penalties were down, with only two minutes for each team. Unfortunately, the shots were also down as well. The Rhinos were held without a shot for the entire period. The Blazers were held to only three shots in the period – unfortunately for the Rhinos, all three of the shots found their way into the back of the net. After allowing the Blazers to come from behind in the third period, the Rhinos drop their fourth game of the season.
The Rhinos and Blazers will face off tomorrow in the rubber match of this weekend’s series. The game will begin at 10:00am MT.