Czech forward Tomas Stastny scored twice and the El Paso Rhinos won two of three games on the road against a hard-skating Texas Brahmas team, winning Sunday afternoon, 4-2.
The Rhinos move to 31-7-2 on the season and their 64 points gives them a commanding 12-point lead over the second place Dallas Ice Jets (24-9-4, 52 points) atop the WSHL's Mid-West Conference.
Stastny broke through just 1:39 into the game -- the first time the Rhinos scored the opening goal in the series.
Though the Brahmas equalized on Jaren Jones goal less than two minutes later, Matt Tritsch continued his excellent run after returning from an extended absence due to a concussion. The Colorado Springs, CO, native scored his team-leading 22nd goal of the season on the power play at 15:35 of the first, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead at intermission.
Tritsch and Stastny play on the same line centered by El Pasoan and team captain, Mike Rivera. The trio continued to torch the Brahmas with a third straight goal, as Stastny scored again at 4:21 of the second period.
Canadian forward Tyler Basham scored the fourth goal with just 1:10 remaining in the second.
Texas (23-13-1, 47 points, 3rd place Mid-West) got one back as Quade Hamlin scored on the power play at 8:02 of the third frame, but El Paso's defense led by Trent Caspar in goal thwarted the determined hosts the rest of the way.
Caspar stopped 30 of 32 Brahmas shots.
The two teams resume their series next weekend in El Paso with games Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. MST and Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. MST. For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos' front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825), or go to www.elpasorhinos.com .