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Andrew Bradford and Brenden Gust each scored two goals and the El Paso Rhinos swept the Tulsa Junior Oilers with a 6-1 win in Sunday's series finale.
Goaltender Ian West, brought up from the Rhinos' Midget Triple-A program, stopped 15 of 16 Tulsa shots in the win.
El Paso improves to 17-3-1 and its 35 points gives the Rhinos a seven-point lead over second place Boulder in the Mountain Conference of the Western States Hockey League.
Resting a number of players before having to play four games in four days at the WSHL Showcase in Las Vegas beginning Tuesday, El Paso's lineup featured a number of players from the Midget Triple-A program who contributed in the place of players like team captain Mike Rivera, John Morales, Austin Hoff and goalie Austin Brihn.
Bradford's tipped goal at 5:36 of the first period opened the scoring; however, the hard-skating Junior Oilers got their first tie of the series at 17:03 of the first on Michael Evans' power play goal.
But the Rhinos weren't done, scoring twice in the final minute. Bradford scored his second goal off a tipped pass, redirecting Grant Killian's shot at 19:23, followed just 22 seconds later by Gust, who won the face-off to the right of Tulsa goalie Justin Lindgren, deked him to the ice, then backhanded his shot through the five-hole to make it 3-1 to the hosts at the first intermission.
Aaron Rasmussen and Chris Wilhite also tallied for El Paso. Wilhite's goal was the Rhinos' 25th short-handed goal of the season, 19 better than the next-closest team in the league.
For WSHL Showcase scores, information and updates, check www.elpasorhinos.com.
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