David Nelson scored his second hat trick in three games and the El Paso Rhinos shook off the road dust to beat the Ogden Mustangs, 5-4, in their first game at the Western States Hockey League Showcase in Las Vegas, NV.
Nelson (18 goals) now sits three goals behind team leader, El Pasoan Mike Rivera (21), who also scored against the Mustangs.
Tommy Malkmus scored the other goal against a solid Ogden team.
"We were pretty rusty and played a very good team," said Rhinos coach Cory Herman. "It took us a period to start playing our game and system."
El Paso outshot Ogden, 47-25, in the game to improve to 18-3-1 to top the WSHL's Mountain Conference with 37 points. The Mustangs drop to 13-11-5 and remain in second place in the Northwest Conference.
The WSHL Showcase brings together all 22 teams in the league, giving players an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of college scouts from all over the country. Teams also get the opportunity to play out-of-conference opponents that would not normally be on their schedules.
The Rhinos take on the Valencia Flyers Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. MST. For more information and to keep up with El Paso at the league showcase, go to www.elpasorhinos.com , or download the El Paso Rhinos app in the Android Market and in the Apple App Store.