The El Paso Rhinos must be channeling some Buzzards’ magic playing in the old WPHL-champions’ replica jerseys for Hockey Weekend Across America. Jesse Vuorinen scored twice and El Paso is now within a point of first place in the Mid-West Division of the WSHL as the Rhinos dominated the Tulsa Jr. Oilers for the second straight game, 7-1, Saturday night.
The Rhinos improve to 34-9-2 and, with 70 points, sit a point in back of first place Springfield and Oklahoma City with games in hand on both teams.
The Express came back to defeat the Blazers, 8-5, on home ice in Springfield, MO, to tie the Blazers atop the division Saturday night.
After notching his fifth shutout of the season to tie Adam Vay’s and Alex Palumbo’s franchise record in El Paso’s 12-0 win Friday — also in Buzzzards replica regalia — goalie Tymen Edelkoort III stopped 13 of 14 shots Saturday to earn his 22nd win.
Twenty years ago, the El Paso Buzzards won the first of two consecutive league championships in their inaugural season. The Rhinos — the brainchild of former Buzzards forward Cory Herman, now the head coach and general manager — could one-up their semi-pro forebears, playing for a what would be a third league title in the Western States Hockey League.
The Rhinos outshot Tulsa, 53-14, Saturday. Joining Vuorinen on the scoresheet were Evan Camba, David Chachalak, J.C. Dubecky, Chaseton Sare and Alex Johanson, who became the eighth Rhino to notch 40 goals in a season.
El Paso will play the Jr. Oilers once more to finish the three-game series Sunday afternoon 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.
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