El Paso native and team captain Mike Rivera scored goals in each of the three periods for the hat trick and four of his teammates each scored twice as the Rhinos dominated the Wichita Junior Thunder, 15-5.
Tyler Basham, John Morales, Brandon Edson and John Ludwig each scored two goals. Trent Edwards, Aaron Rasmussen, Chris Wilhite and Brenden Gust also scored for the hosts.
El Paso was firing on all cylinders in every facet of the game, outshooting Wichita, 72-26, and went 3-for-5 on the power play. The Rhinos also scored three shorthanded goals, improving their league-best total to 12.
For the visitors, Alex O'Leary notched a hat trick and Wichita scored the first three goals of the third period.
But El Paso was too fast, too focused.
The Rhinos improve to 12-3-1 on the season, solidifying their lead atop the Western States Hockey League's Mountain Conference. The Junior Thunder drop to 6-10-0 to stay in fourth place in the Midwest Conference.
The teams will take Thanksgiving Day off before resuming the series Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. MST. For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos' front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com .
Click the following link for game stats and league stats: http://pointstreak.com/prostats/boxscore.html?gameid=2031446