El Paso native and team captain Mike Rivera scored the first two goals and Tyler Basham netted the only goal of the shootout as the Rhinos edged the Fresno Monsters, 5-4.
Goalie Trent Caspar was named the game's first star after stopping 42 of 46 Fresno shots, as well as all five of the Monsters' shootout attempts.
With the win, El Paso (16-3-0, 32 points) becomes just the second team to defeat Fresno (23-1-1, 47 points) this season, though the Monsters fought back to tie the game, 4-4, and do receive a point.
It was a physical game from the start and the second period was slowed by a number of fights between two of the Western States Hockey League's top franchises. The teams play twice more Friday and Saturday night, with both games starting at 7:30 p.m. MST.
For tickets and information, contact the Rhinos' front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825) or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.=