Jiri Pestuka scored the game-winning goal with 10 seconds to play in the second period and goalie Alek Lazarski made it stick, stopping all 22 shots he faced, as the El Paso Rhinos came back from a three-goal deficit to nip the Idaho Jr. Steelheads, 4-3, in Game One of the Thorne Cup Finals.
Joshua Mikes notched a hat trick, goalie Filip Orcik stopped 45 of 47 El Paso shots and the Bay Area Seals avenged a first-round loss to the Rhinos with a 7-2 win, vaulting the Seals into the Thorne Cup Finals Easter Sunday in McCall, ID
Taylor Bargar and Chad Cesarz each scored twice and the Rhinos' special teams contributed half of their eight goals Friday afternoon, as El Paso dominated the Fresno Monsters from start to finish, 8-3.
The El Paso Rhinos overcame a disastrous first period to score five unanswered goals, roaring back to double the Bay Area Seals, 6-3, in their opening game at the Thorne Cup championship tournament in McCall, ID, Thursday night.
Under head coach Cory Herman, the Rhinos wrapped up their sixth trip to the Thorne Cup Finals in the last seven seasons. They swept the Phoenix Knights and Boulder Bison to return to the Thorne Cup and compete for the coveted Western States Hockey League title.
What could be better than beer, brawls and backchecking? Or foam, fights and forechecking? Any way you look at it, it’s a hockey-fest this weekend at the Events Center adjacent to the El Paso County Coliseum
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