(EL PASO, TX) — David Barbour and Jiri Pestuka each scored twice and the El Paso Rhinos swept the persistent Springfield Express with a 6-1 win in the third game of the series .
El Paso goalie Ryan Buttazzoni was 32 seconds away from a shutout, but Josh Cook got Springfield’s lone goal walking in on the netminder after a mix-up at the Rhinos’ blue line. Buttazzoni finished the night with 30 saves on 31 Express shots.
Martin Hanl started the scoring at of the first, followed by Barbour’s first at .
Barbour made it two in a row at of the second, scoring the only goal of the period off of a wicked wrist shot from the top of the slot.
Pestuka scored his first from a puck that was deflected off an Express player’s glove at of the third frame; but after Sebastian Borg fired in the Rhinos’ fifth of the night from between Pestuka’s skates at , Pestuka notched his second with a beautiful strike from the left circle just nine seconds into El Paso’s only power play of the game at .
El Paso improves to 28-3-0-0, leading the WSHL’s Midwest Division with 56 points. Springfield is in third place in the Midwest at 18-15-1-0 with 37 points.
El Paso heads to Tulsa next weekend to face the Junior Oilers before both teams return for a three-game series in the Events Center, . The Rhinos and Tulsa square off and ( ) at 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.