El Paso Rhinos capture first Thorne Cup Title since 2008


POSTED: Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 11:15pm

UPDATED: Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 11:43pm

El Paso Rhinos had a three-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 7-3 win over Idaho Junior Steelheads.

El Paso Rhinos got the win with help from a great game by Austin Hoff, who had two goals and one assist. Hoff scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 17:28 into the first period to make the score 2-0 El Paso Rhinos. El Paso Rhinos had taken the advantage when Idaho Junior Steelheads' Oskar Af Bjur got sent off for holding. David Nelson picked up the assist. Hoff's next tally on the power play made the score 3-1 El Paso Rhinos with 17:10 left in the second period. Andrew Bradford provided the assist.

Idaho Junior Steelheads fell victim to a deadly El Paso Rhinos power play, which ripped Idaho Junior Steelheads for four goals.

El Paso Rhinos put up an impenetrable defensive front on the penalty kill, and did not allow Idaho Junior Steelheads to score on any of its four power plays. Team's forwards weren't the only contributers offensively, and the team's defensemen showcased their scoring touch with two goals.

El Paso Rhinos additionally got points from Nelson, who also registered three goals and one assist to lead the team in points and Chris Wilhite, who also tallied one goal and one assist. Kalvis Ozols also scored for El Paso Rhinos. More assists for El Paso Rhinos came via Jiri Pestuka, who had two and Chad Cesarz, Tom Bartel, Nick Plesa, Jack Strusz, and Bryce Fink, who contributed one each.

Idaho Junior Steelheads racked up the penalties in the contest, and ended with seven minors and one major for 29 minutes in penalty time. Idaho Junior Steelheads surpassed its season average of 26.0 penalty minutes per game. Idaho Junior Steelheads kept El Paso Rhinos' goalie busy throughout the game, and Fink made 32 saves on 35 shots.

Idaho Junior Steelheads was led by Jesper Jensen, who had one goal and two assists. Jensen scored 13:25 into the second period to make the score 4-2 El Paso Rhinos. Luc Gensler assisted on the tally. Others who scored for Idaho Junior Steelheads included Dak Dice and Macky Power, who each put in one. In addition, Idaho Junior Steelheads received assists from Hunter Lester and Dimitris Jones, who each chipped in one.

El Paso Rhinos ended with 23 minutes in penalty time with four minors and one major. Sean Healy took the loss and made 13 saves before being replaced by Danny Kowalski who made nine saves. For Idaho Junior Steelheads, Gensler was ejected from the game.

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