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Rhinos 5, Gulls 3

10/26/2013 7:47 AM -

 

(EL PASO, TX) -- Nick Plesa scored twice and the El Paso Rhinos held off a hard-charging San Diego Gulls team, 5-3, in El Paso's home opener.

The Rhinos improve to 7-0-0, and their 14 points keeps pace with the Dallas Snipers atop the Midwest Division.

Plesa -- one of three brothers from Calgary, AB, who came to El Paso to play together -- scored the opening goal just 51 seconds into the game.

Czech Republic defenseman Roman Konecny scored a power play at 11:18 and d-man Tyler Elson made it 3-0 at 15:51.

But despite their best players being racked by the flu, San Diego (1-7-1, 3 points) was resilient, scoring twice in the second period to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Kyle Rimbach scored at 9:35 of the second frame, followed by new defenseman Kalvis Ozols, who lasered a shot past Rhinos goalie Adam Vay for the power play goal at 16:50 to make it a game heading into the final period.

But again Plesa scored early in the frame, chipping one by Gulls goaltender Brody Cavataio 61 seconds in. Trey Hughes followed Plesa with a power play goal at 5:19.

Ozols wrapped up the scoring with another power play top shelf bomb from the blue line at 7:50, but San Diego could not take advantage of even more power play opportunities to draw closer to the hosts.

The two teams will play twice more, Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. MDT and Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos' front office at 915.479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.=