Mid Season Recap
The annual Western States Showcase marks the half point of the WSHL season. This year was another great step in the right direction for the WSHL. This year we saw our very first player commits to a NCAA Division 1 school for the following season, as AIC has recruited Ogden Mustangs Forward Matus Spodniak for the 2018 – 2019 season. The Mid West Division went 6-7-2 as a total. We saw El Paso lose their first game of the season, Utah’s goalie scored a goal and made sports center top 10, and played games in the Vegas Golden Knights practice facility.
West to Dallas. The Snipers started the season against the only undefeated team to start the league showcase. The El Paso Rhinos, kings of the Mid-West Division. The Snipers started the season 0-3 against the top team in the league. They out scored Dallas the opening weekend 24-3. The Rhinos look strong like they did five years ago when they won the Thorne Cup. The Snipers will need to have a high compete level if they have any chance of making a dent into the Rhino’s record. They play each other six more times and all games are in El Paso.
The Oklahoma City Blazers are another top team in the WSHL. In six games this season against Dallas, the Blazers have outscored Dallas 55-9. The Snipers have been close in some games, and show signs of high energy and high compete but have struggled to keep pucks out of their net. The Snipers have six more games against the Blazers and if they have any chance of going deep, learning how to win tough games against tough teams is going to be important this second half of the year.
The Snipers have played three games against the Springfield Express in first half of the season. The two teams will face off nine more times. The first game of the season saw the Snipers down 4-0 after the first 20 minutes. Then tied 5-5 with 20 minutes. The Snipers gave up 5 goals in the last 20 minutes to lose the first game of the series, 10-5. Game two of the series saw a 3-3 game going into the 3rd period and the Express score seven goals and win 10-3. The Snipers held a 5-3 lead with 20 minutes left to play in the third period of the final game of the series. They gave up five goals and then scored to make it a one goal game, but the Snipers ended up losing 8-7. So, a great series of hockey between the two clubs. Those are games the Snipers must win if they want to climb the standings in the Mid-West Division.
The Defending Thorne Cup Champions the Wichita Jr Thunder. The Snipers swept the Jr Thunder when they came down to Dallas to play a three-game set. The two teams played a three-game set in Wichita, the week before the Vegas Showcase and the Snipers out scored the Jr. Thunder 20-2 in the first two games, but lose 6-2 in the final game before the series ended. The Snipers are 5-1 against the Jr Thunder this season. The two teams play 6 more times.
The Phoenix Knights, Bellingham Blazers, and Casper Coyotes were the three out of division opponents for the Snipers in Las Vegas this year. All three teams were good teams and it goes to show how tough this league has become, and you must be ready to go each game. The Vegas Golden Knights Facility was incredible, and the teams got to watch the Golden Knights morning skate after our game against Phoenix.
We want to wish all our players, billet families, and fans a safe holiday season and a Happy New Year!