2016 WSHL All Star Weekend Recap
Following a successful showcase tournament in Las Vegas, the Western States Hockey League debuted its inaugural All Star Weekend in Oklahoma City, OK.
Host Oklahoma City Blazers brought out the welcome wagon for the All Star team with a pregame banquet on New Year’s Day; there all 23 players spanning 17 teams from around the WSHL were honored and acknowledged with a celebratory meal and entertainment.
The game itself was played the next day in a regulation-style format that pitted the All Stars against the Blazers with skills events in-between periods. Fans in attendance witnessed a highly-skilled and extremely fast-paced competitive hockey game that saw the All Stars ultimately win 3-0.
Scoring began just minutes in when Captain, Damon Hanson (Missoula Maulers) tucked one past Filip Kostka, and it was only ten minutes later that the All Stars increased their lead 2-0 courtesy of another Captain, Heath Lantz (Cheyenne Stampede). Later in the middle of the second period, Tomas Urbanec (Long Beach Bombers) scored what would be the final goal of the game.
Despite outshooting the All Stars 32-25, the Blazers couldn’t find a way to get around Linus Ryttar (Valencia Flyers) or Noah Parker (Missoula Maulers) who split the shutout with 20 & 12 saves respectively.
Even though it ended in a tough loss for the franchise, the home team received nothing, but high praise from everyone in attendance, including Commissioner Ron White.
“The Oklahoma City Blazers hockey team, its players & staff, are to be congratulated for a fantastic event.” He continued, “They excelled in putting together a very professional All Star event, extended unbelievable hospitality to the members of the All Star team, and later a very exciting hockey game.”
The WSHL returns from its mid-season break on Thursday when the Fresno Monsters travel to Las Vegas to take on the Storm with several games being played Friday and Saturday of the first weekend of January.