The Rhinos topped 40 shots for the second straight night,
peppering Tulsa netminder Mike Davis with 44 shots. El Paso had 45 shots Friday.
Two power play goals were the difference for the teams tonight as the Rhinos went 2-for-3 on the man advantage, meanwhile holding the Rampage scoreless on their four opportunities.
El Paso has the Western States Hockey League's best penalty kill by percentage, holding the opposition scoreless on the advantage 93.9-percent of the time. The Rhinos power play also tops the league at 22.1-percent.
Hollinger, the WSHL's winning-est goalie, dropped his
goals-against average to 1.54 and is second in the WSHL after another outstanding start.
Needing a spark in the second period, though, Balko rose to the occasion once again, beating the backcheck around the right wing, then blasting a shot below Davis, left arm just inside the near post, solving a nearly impossible angle for the score.
New Rhino Jimmy Kieling scored the opening goal unassisted at 5:59 of the first period, taking the puck away from Davis as he sprawled on the ice to stop a rebound at left circle.
Defenseman Costi Hinn scored El PasoÂ’s third from the point and through a screen, rattling his slapshot off the upper left corner and in at 2:46 to beat Davis on the power play.
The Rhinos and the Rampage wind up their three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 p.m. MDT. Fans can listen to the game from the Rhinos website, with Duke Keith and Michael Hissam, http://www.elpasorhinos.com
. Real time stats are available from http://www.pointstreak.com