El Paso, TX — Nick Plesa netted a hat trick to lead El Paso Rhinos over Texas, 9-3.
Plesa notched his first tally 12:47 into the first period. He then added goals at 6:20 into the second and at 3:59 into the third.
Texas' 13 penalties came back to haunt it, as Texas let up four goals while on the penalty kill.
El Paso Rhinos racked up the penalties in the contest, and ended with eight minors and one major for 41 minutes in penalty time. El Paso Rhinos had been averaging 24.0 minutes in penalties per game. El Paso Rhinos forced Texas' goaltenders to work between the pipes, firing 52 shots and forcing 43 saves. Oliver Eklund made 27 stops and Ryan Mulka made 16. El Paso Rhinos found the back of the net more times than it usually has this season. El Paso Rhinos averages 5.7 goals per game. El Paso Rhinos got an offensive boost from its blueliners, who contributed two goals during the game.
El Paso Rhinos also got points from Drew DePalma, who also tallied one goal and one assist, Chris Wilhite, who also finished with one goal and two assists, and Matthew Plesa, who also grabbed one goal and two assists. El Paso Rhinos also had goals scored by Chad Cesarz, Roman Konecny, and Austin Hoff, who each put in one. More assists for El Paso Rhinos came via Jeremy Rezaeepour, who had one, Kalvis Ozols, who had two, and Peter Plesa, who had four.
Texas was often in penalty trouble, totaling nine minors and four majors for 58 minutes in penalty time. Texas surpassed its season average of 25.0 penalty minutes per game.
Texas was led by Seth Ensor, who registered two goals. Ensor scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 10:43 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Texas. Texas had taken the advantage when El Paso Rhinos' Jack Strusz got sent off for elbowing. Sebastien Tremblay provided the assist. Ensor's next tally on the power play made the score 4-2 El Paso Rhinos with 8:56 left in the second period. Austin Murray picked up the assist. Texas also got a goal from Tobias Sjolund as well. In addition, Texas received assists from Viktor Brask, who had one.
Bryce Fink rejected 26 shots on goal for El Paso Rhinos. Texas registered one goal on five power play opportunities. For Texas, Ensor was ejected from the game.