San Diego Sabers @ El Paso Rhinos
02.12.16 – El Paso 8, San Diego 4
02.13.16 – El Paso 8, San Diego 1
02.14.16 – El Paso 12, San Diego 1
The El Paso Rhinos continued their second-half resurgence with a three-game sweep of the visiting San Diego Sabers. The Rhinos have gone 9-1-1 over their last 11 games and moved into a home-ice position in the Mid-West Division. With games in hand on Springfield, a second-place finish and first-round bye are not out of the question.
The new-look Sabers looked good in Friday’s series opener and the game was still tied, 2-2, midway through the second period before the Rhinos broke the game open with three goals in a span of 1:52.
Oliver Norqvist figured in three of the four San Diego goals, scoring two goals and assisting on another.
Mathew Smishek scored two goals for El Paso.
Saturday’s game was still a one-goal contest 5:17 into the second period when Connor Beaudet scored the first of his three goals to give the Rhinos a 3-1 lead.
Beaudet added two more in the middle period as El Paso built a 6-1 lead at the second intermission. The Rhinos went on to win, 8-1.
Petr Ceslik scored twice for the Rhinos and added an assist, Gustav Larsson dished out three helpers and Ryan Buttazoni handled 10 of 11 shots for the win.
The Rhinos wrapped up the sweep with a 12-1 win on Sunday.
Ceslik scored four times and assisted on another goal for El Paso. Beaudet (2-3-5) matched his five-point output and Benjamin Dennis stopped all but one of the 13 shots sent his way.