Thursday: Rhinos 3 @ RoadRunners 1 – The Rhinos take to the road as the RoadRunners host Thursday evening for their first game of the series to determine who will come out on top as the South Division Champions. The game opens to very aggressive plays by both teams vying for control with the Rhinos’ Connor Thompson taking the first goal of the night at 14:40 into the first period. Going into the second Blake Polifka gives the Rhinos an insurance goal at the 10:58 mark, followed by Tristen Elmhurst to round off the Rhinos’ scoring for the night. Rhinos go into the third period with a 3-0 lead over the RoadRunners who score in the closing minutes of the period. The game is finalized at 3-1 with the Rhinos taking the victory. Both teams will travel back to El Paso for the second game of the series for a Saturday Game.
Saturday: RoadRunners 4 @ Rhinos 5 – The Texas RoadRunners are welcomed to the El Paso County Events Center as the Rhinos host game 2 of the series. Matthew Gross starts the Rhinos off right the first goal of the night. The RoadRunners fight back for the majority of the period, finally breaking through Rhino defense as Jaron Ketterman scores 16 minutes into the game. With the game looking like it’ll go into first intermission at a 1-1 tie, Blake Polifka sneaking in a last-second goal for the Rhinos. With newfound determination the RoadRunners take the to the ice at the start of the second period ready to fight back. Jack Herron puts the RoadRunners in the lead with two goals this period.
The third period begins with the Rhinos trailing behind the RoadRunners 3-2. Caden Butler seizes the opportunity of a power play and ties the game at 3-3. Tim Marisco of the RoadRunners turns the tables just as fast for yet another goal, once more putting the RoadRunners in the lead at 4-3. For the next fifteen minutes the puck flies up and down the ice as both teams seek to gain an advantage. Riley Hunt-Bahn delivers a crucial shot with less than four minutes to go. Hunt-Bahn’s goal brings the game to 4-4 as the clock ticks down. With a mere 24 seconds left in the game, Connor Thompson, aided by Kaiden Hafele & Matthew Gross, overpowers the opposing team to score the final goal of the night and securing the Rhinos’ place as the south division champions with a 5-4 victory.