For the second night in a row on Saturday, goaltender Ryan Buttazzoni started in net for the El Paso Rhinos. Also for the second night in a row, the Tulsa Jr. Oilers managed very few shots – 16. For the seventeenth time this season, the Rhinos won on the road – this time by a final score of 7-1.
The number one star of this night in Tulsa was forward Bryton Tomko. After assisting on forward Jiri Pestuka’s first period goal at 11:57, Tomko scored two of his own very early in the second period. Tomko would add one more at the beginning of the third period to complete the hat-trick for the Pittsburgh native.
Saturday’s game was very similar to last nights in most ways apart from the physicality. On Friday night, things got a little chippy only towards the end of the third period – tonight the physicality carried over from the start. At 15:03 in the first period forward Koler Kanistanaux received simultaneous roughing penalties with Tulsa forward Taner Byrd. On the night, the Rhinos received six penalties for a total of 12 minutes. A total of eight penalty minutes was due to roughing.
After scoring his first goal as a Rhino last night, forward Jonah Pearson continued to ingratiate himself with his new teammates with a tally at the 17:33 mark of the second period. Pestuka would continue to add to his league leading goal total – 29 goals in 28 games — by following up his first period goal with another with only seconds left in the second period.
Tulsa managed to score their first goal of the series at 8:21 of the third period in order to make the score 6-1. Swedish forward Sebastian Borg would round out the scoring at the 14:27 mark of the third period to bring the final score to 7-1. With his late goal, Borg has now scored a goal in four consecutive games going back to last Saturday against the Springfield Express.
The Rhinos and Oilers will finish up the series tomorrow at 9:30am Mountain Time. The Rhinos will be looking to finish up the sweep of the Oilers before the two teams meet up again next weekend in El Paso.
– Jason Green