Las Vegas Shootout Recap
On Saturday, December 19th the Western States Hockey League concluded its 15th Annual Western States Shootout showcase tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
All 29 Tier II clubs from across the left half of the country competed in four regular season games each in front of scouts from over 75 different institutions.
Arguably the greatest attribute at the Shootout was the opportunity it provided players to move onto the next level. The scouts mentioned earlier spanned NCAA (Division I, II, & III) and ACHA (Division I) schools from around the nation, but the most beneficial piece to the players was the College Seminar at Fellini’s Restaurant. There hundreds of players had the opportunity to hear from Frank Serratore (Air Force Academy NCAA D-I), Bill Moore (St. Mary’s University NCAA D-III), and Mark Ostapina (Milwaukee School of Engineering NCAA D-III) about the importance of higher education, and how hockey can be the tool to get them there.
The Shootout as a whole was a wonderful event hosted by the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino along with the Las Vegas Ice Center and the Sobe Ice Arena that provided 60 games of premium, well-balanced hockey.
One of the staples of the showcase is the parity of the scheduling. The WSHL waited until roughly two weeks prior to the tournament to release the schedule in order to see how teams would matchup against one another; the result was phenomenal hockey.
Out of all the teams playing, only the Arizona Hawks, El Paso Rhinos, Ogden Mustangs, and Ontario Avalanche went 4-0 in the tournament.
Dallas Snipers (2-1-1)
It was a rubber band effort for the Dallas Snipers on their way towards a 2-1-1 showing. They experienced a narrow win in overtime, a big win, a big loss, and a narrow loss in overtime. After their odd tournament, Dallas is still stuck in a three-way tie for last place in the Mid-Western Division.
Final Results: Las Vegas (3-2 W in OT), Whitefish (9-2 W), Superior (5-1 L), Ontario (3-2 L in OT)