Rhinos blank Cheyenne to complete sweep
Goaltender Alex Paulumbo earned his second straight shutout and the El Paso Rhinos blanked the Cheyenne Stampede, 6-0, Sunday afternoon at the Events Center.
John Ludwig scored twice, including the opening goal on the power play at 6:05 of the first period.
David Nelson tallied at 9:04 of the first, followed by Mike Rivera who scored on an unassisted breakaway.
The El Paso native and team captain intercepted a Cheyenne crossing pass at the Rhinos' blue line, then deked Stampede goalie Daniel Cepila to the ice before pushing the puck by Cepila's left skate for the goal at 12:39.
Tyler Brady wrapped up the period's scoring with a power play goal at 18:46.
Ludwig scored his second at 9:14 of the second period, followed by Austin Hoff, who took the rebound off Rivera's second breakaway chance and put it past Cepila at 5:54 of the third for the Rhinos' league-leading 31st shorthanded goal of the season
The next closest Western States Hockey League teams have nine short-handed goals to this point of the season.
El Paso outshot the Cheyenne, 53-11, in Sunday's game. The Rhinos held the Stampede scoreless for over 149 minutes, stretching from Friday night's 4-2 comeback win through the rest of the weekend.
El Paso (29-6-2, 60 points) improves its lead over Cheyenne (21-11-1, 43 points) in the WSHL's Mountain Conference to 17 points.
The Rhinos will return to action in two weekends for a key three-game series against the Boulder Bison. For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos' front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825), or go to www.elpasorhinos.com. The games will be broadcast live on 600 ESPN El Paso.