This past weekend, the Rhinos traveled to Oklahoma City to play their rivals, the Blazers. Going into the series, the Rhinos sat atop the Midwest Division while the Blazers were in second place.
On Friday, Sam Robinson, with the help of Oscar Andersson and Dominik Sedlacek, put the Rhinos on the board less than four minutes into the fist period. Eight minutes later, Blazer defenseman Michael Jensen evened the game at one.
Although the second period saw no goals, eight penalties, for a total of 17 penalty minutes, were handed out during the period. With only five minutes remaining in regulation, OKC forward Henrik Overvall, slid the puck past Rhino netminder Nils Velm to give the Blazers the win.
Game two started out differently as the Harri Koll was the first to score for the Blazers. After a scoreless second period, Koll scored his second of the game only fourteen seconds into the third period. With just over five minutes remaining in regulation, Rhino forward Jonas Burman put the Rhinos within one of the Blazers.
Moments later, however, an empty net goal by Vitalii Mikhailov gave the Blazers the 3-1 game two win.
Neither team scored in the first period of Sunday’s game, but like Saturday, the Blazers were the first to put a tally on the scoresheet with a goal by Dominic Loubert. Just over a minute later, Rhino forward Sam Sykes tied the game at one. OKC’s Loubert (2) and El Paso’s Ty Erramouspe both posted goals to end the second period knotted at two.
Martin Dubsky gave the Rhinos only their second lead of the series when he scored just before the halfway mark of the third period. With four minutes left in regulation, Erramouspe sealed the deal and gave the Rhinos a 4-2 win to avoid being swept by the Blazers.
After the two losses in Oklahoma, the Rhinos now sit in second place behind the Blazers who lead the Midwest Division.
This weekend, however, the Rhinos hope to add three wins to their record when the play the Dallas Snipers on home ice for Military Appreciation Weekend. Active duty, veterans, and retired military and their dependents receive free admission for this series and every home series.
Throughout the weekend, the Rhinos will recognize Military personnel and wear military-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off following Saturday’s game.