Oklahoma City Blazers Hockey

Blazers Sweep El Paso

Blazers Sweep El Paso

The Oklahoma City Blazers finished off the El Paso Rhinos Saturday night at the Blazers Ice Centre in thrilling fashion winning in double overtime 3-2. Forward Tomas Rubes was the hero 2minutes and 27 seconds in the second sudden death overtime period when he corralled a loose puck to the left of the Rhinos goal and ripped it past an exhausted Brendon Cytulik to win the game for OKC.

With the Blazers pounding the Rhinos 10-2 on Friday, El Paso came out of the gates with everything they had to try and extend their season. Rhinos defenseman Kyle Keeder put the visiting squad ahead 1-0 with a beautiful individual effort going through a Blazers defender and deking OKC goaltender Filip Kostka. The Rhinos would take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. El Paso would get another goal on the power play when Bryton Tomko would tip and Jakub Husa point shot in and make it 2-0.

Oklahoma City would begin to swarm the Rhinos eventually earning a two man advantage to begin the third period but the El Paso penalty kill unit was flawless limiting the Blazers.  OKC continued to pressure the Rhinos however goaltender Brendon Cytulik was equal to the task making save after save.  With just under 8 minutes remaining the Blazers would finally solve Cytulik when Rhino killer Ivan Bondarenko would slam home a rebound to get the B’s within one setting up some late game heroics. Oklahoma City called a timeout with 41 seconds remaining and a neutralzone face off. Centerman Johan Sorkin was able to get the face off back to a speeding Bondarenko who entered the zone and moved the puck to linemate Kirill Romanov who took the original shot to blocked by a Rhinos defender. The puck rebounded to a hard crashing Adam Skutchan who made no mistake beating the goaltender with only 28 seconds remaining in regulation setting the stage for overtime.

In the first overtime the Blazers depth and speed began to wear down the Rhinos as they out shot a tired El Paso group 20-5. OKC missed by inches and hit a post and crossbar but couldnt find the series clinching goal before the 4th intermission.

In the 5th frame, 4 hours and 21 minutes after opening puck drop, Rubes would score and the Blazers would end the Rhinos season.

“We knew tonight was going to be a battle. It’s El Paso, they aren’t going to go down without a fight.  Anytime you have a team facing elimination they are going to sell out and throw everything they have at you,” said head Coach Tyler Fleck. “They came at us really hard in the first 2 periods, but as the game went on we began to take over. We could tell they were getting tired and knew that if we continued with the gameplan we have an opportunity to win the hockey game. We just had to stay the coarse. It was exciting for sure.”

The Blazers ended up outshooting the Rhinos 57-29 in the game.

The Blazers will now play the Springfield Express next weekend in OKC at the Blazers Ice Centre in the Midwest Divison Finals.

Stay Tuned for information regarding the next round of the Thorne Cup Playoffs.

For tickets to the next round call 405-601-6489.

“Let’s Go Blazer’s!”