Regardless of the ending, the first game between the Tulsa Rampage and the El Paso Rhinos was a thrilling one for the fans from both teams. The hard-hitting action began early from the first drop of the puck and continued throughout.
Both teams seemed determined to try to outwork the other in the first, causing the goalies to have to demonstrate some outstanding skill. The Rhinos, Ryan Rivera and Tulsa’s Eric Messer stopped everything that came their way inciting groans or cheers from the opposing fans and causing both teams to leave the ice with zeros on the board at the end of that frame.
It was all El Paso in the second as they outshot the Rampage by close to double by period’s end. That shooting paid off early as Tyler Beasley was able to post an even strength goal for the Rhinos. Midway through the period Todd Thomas netted a second goal for the Rhinos causing the Rampage to leave the ice at the end of the period with a 2 goal deficit.
While the action took place on both ends in the third, it was the Rampage who were able to capitalize. Just a little over a minute into the period, Nick DiRado scored a power play goal that was assisted by Shane Khalaf and Bobby Watson. Midway through the period, Josh Revoy posted his first goal of the season, an even strength goal assisted by Antonio Baccari and Mitch Suchomel. As the tension heightened and the clock wore down, El Paso wound up in the box and for the second time, Nick DiRado added to Tulsa’s side of the board. With only two minutes left the Rhino’s put a lot of pressure on, Tulsa wound up with two players in the box and a 5 on 3 deficit. In the end, DiRado’s goal would be the game winner for in the 3-2 Rampage victory.