El Paso Rhinos wins 4-3, reach Thorne Cup Final

El Paso Rhinos wins 4-3, reach Thorne Cup Final
El Paso Chihuahuas

POSTED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 9:46pm

UPDATED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 9:48pm

Phoenix Knights almost clawed its way back from a three-goal deficit, but El Paso Rhinos managed to pull out a 4-3 win in the end.

El Paso Rhinos led by three goals at one point and ended with the victory. The largest advantage in the game came when El Paso Rhinos' Kalvis Ozols scored short handed at 19:23 in the first period to put El Paso Rhinos up 3-0.

El Paso Rhinos was led by Jack Strusz, who registered one goal. Strusz scored 3:44 into the third period to make the score 4-3 El Paso Rhinos. Peter Plesa picked up the assist.

In a losing effort, Phoenix Knights was sparked by Mitch Cobby, who had two goals. Cobby scored the first of his two goals at 2:40 into the second period to make the score 3-2 El Paso Rhinos. Mattias Marten provided the assist. Cobby's next tally made the score 3-3 with one second1 seconds left in the second period. A tripping call on Nick Kujawa put Phoenix Knights on the penalty kill. Ryan McNeely picked up the assist.

El Paso Rhinos stifled Phoenix Knights' power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. Phoenix Knights was unable to stop El Paso Rhinos from sending pucks towards the net, and El Paso Rhinos eventually piled up 39 shots on goal. El Paso Rhinos' defensemen played an important role in the offense, chipping in two goals.

El Paso Rhinos additionally got points from Ozols, who also racked up one goal and one assist to lead the team in points. El Paso Rhinos also had goals scored by Chad Cesarz and Austin Hoff, who scored one goal each. Other players who recorded assists for El Paso Rhinos were Andrew Bradford, who had one.

Phoenix Knights excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in three chances.

Max Mahood also scored for Phoenix Knights. More assists for Phoenix Knights came via Jordan Cullum, Matt Gamblin, Kelby Minshull, and Luke Stripp, who each chipped in one.

Bryce Fink recorded 26 saves for El Paso Rhinos. El Paso Rhinos incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors. Luke Stripp made 35 saves for Phoenix Knights on 39 shots. Phoenix Knights incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors.

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