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02/04/2012 1:54 PM -
Rhinos Maul Knights in Tin-Foil Armor
Feb. 03, 2012
Phoenix, AZ – Mauling may not even be the right word for what the El Paso Rhinos did to the Phoenix Knights on Friday evening but it’s certainly a more appropriate word. The Knights unfortunately are just not a high-caliber team and that was evident in game one of this three game series when they lost 14-2. The Rhinos on the other hand are a team that is bound for a deep run in playoffs this year and when you mix the two, a cosmic collision occurs much like a star like the sun barrels into an asteroid.
This game got off to a rocky start as there were penalties issued even before the puck was ever dropped when Thomas Stastny and Nico Scatino sat two minutes each for crossing the redline before the game. Add on seven roughing penalties, two checking from behind majors, and a game misconduct and you can pretty much get the idea of how this one went down. It was a nasty contest, which made it all the more easy for the Rhinos to run the score up. Both John Morales and Matthew Pietrzykowski scored hat tricks and led the team to their tenth victory in eleven games.
Goalie Trent Casper had a decent outing as he stopped 23 of 25 chances, however he had a lot of offensive support as Brett Galley saw 56 shots in the other crease. This kind of shooting outburst has been the key to keeping this Rhino team awake, and now the question is whether or not they continue to come ready to play when their opponents are already mentally defeated. The Phoenix Knights would love nothing more than the knock the Mid-West leaders off their high-horse, but do they have the ability to do so? Not to jump the gun here, but probably not. And although this may seem like a “duh” statistic, the Rhinos have won every game they have had 50+ shots in. Look for this trend to continue on Saturday.
Matt Prosser, El Paso Rhinos Beat Writer for JuniorHockey.com. Matt is a freelance writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past two seasons he has been the voice of California State University, Sacramento Hockey and is the host of The Sports Cycle with Matt Prosser on KSSU 1580AM in Sacramento and KSSU.com. His other broadcasts also include Hornets football, baseball, and softball. To get in touch with Matt for comments and writing ventures please e-mail him at MProsser58@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @kssuMattProsser or visit his website: www.kssusportscycle.com.