The top two teams in the Midwest Division met up in Oklahoma City Friday night and it was the first place Rhinos who came up with a shutout. The Rhinos won the game 3-0, with goaltender Adam Vay saving 27 Oklahoma City shots. The Rhinos were held scoreless in the first period, but added one in the second, one in the third and an empty netter as time expired.
The game was as physical as a game between the two top teams would be expected to be. Both teams totaled 27 minutes in penalties each with the Rhinos going scoreless on five power plays. The Blazers were held scoreless on 10 power plays by the Rhinos penalty kill unit. Only nine seconds into the game, forward Jiri Pestuka received an elbowing penalty. Before the period ended, a holding penalty would give Pestuka his total of four minutes of penalties on the night. Forward Bryton Tomko would lead the team in penalty minutes with seven. Five of Tomko’s minutes in the box came when he dropped the gloves with Oklahoma City defenseman Lubos Vacek toward the end of the third period.
Defenseman Robert Horak ranked second in penalty minutes during the Friday the 13th affair. Horak tallied two minutes in each of the three periods. The most important tally of the night for Horak however came midway through the second period when he notched only his fourth goal of the season. The Rhinos would never relinquish the lead on the way to their 18th road win this season. New forward Jordan Cullum would add a total of two points to his stat sheet in his first game with the Rhinos. At the 8:37 mark of the third period Cullum assisted on forward Dominique Pozzi’s 6th goal of the season. As time expired, Cullum added an empty netter to round out the victory for the Rhinos.
The Blazers and El Paso Rhinos face off again tomorrow afternoon in Oklahoma City at 4:00pm El Paso time.
– Jason Green