El Paso, TX — Brothers Nick and Matt Plesa each earned hat tricks and the El Paso Rhinos dominated the visiting Wichita Jr. Thunder from start to finish in a 14-2 win.
El Paso improves to 27-2-0-0 in the Western States Hockey League while Wichita drops to 4-30-0-1.
Nick and Matthew exchanged goals in the first period. Nick Plesa opened the scoring at 6:44 of the first period, followed by Matthew exactly 11 seconds later. Nick notched his second on the power play at 15:08 of the first.
The Rhinos scored seven in the second frame, beginning with two of the newest Rhinos in Gabe Goodroe and Krisztian Nagy.
Returning to El Paso, winger Austin Hoff scored the Rhinos' league-leading 22nd short-handed goal at 10:15. Only two other teams (Fresno and Long Beach) have 10 short-handed goals this season.
Scott Oelkers, Matt Plesa with his second, Tom Bartel and Nick Plesa with his third all scored in the second frame as well.
Matthew Plesa earned his hat trick at 10:18 of the third, followed by Bartel with his second. Dakota Beaulieu and Jeremy Rezaeepour wrapped the scoring for the hosts.
El Paso and Wichita will play twice more at 7:30 p.m. MST Friday and Saturday. For tickets and information, contact the El Paso Rhinos' front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825), or go to www.elpasorhinos.com .