It’s playoff time in the Western States Hockey League and, once again, the El Paso Rhinos are in contention to take the Thorne Cup once again.
Starting this Friday, the top-seeded Rhinos hope to start that journey in front of a record 20th consecutive sellout crowd as they face the Dallas Snipers in a best-of-3 playoff series at the El Paso County Coliseum Events Center at 4100 East Paisano.
The Rhinos finished the regular season with a 40-8-3 record, placing them atop the Mid-Western Division, and securing the home-ice advantage in the divisional semifinals.
Dallas, 23-26-2, beat the Wichita Thunder in the play-in series to advance in the playoffs to face El Paso. The Rhinos have beat the Snipers eight of their nine match-ups this season.
Friday’s game will feature the team’s 11th annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are asked to bring stuffed animals to toss onto the ice after the Rhinos’ first goal. The stuffed animals are then collected and donated to area children facing struggles and in crisis.
The players also will be wearing special teddy bear jerseys, which will be auctioned off for charity.
Game one is set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, followed by Game 2 at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23. If a third game is necessary, it will take place at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 24.
Tickets start at $5 and are available at the El Paso County Coliseum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, online and at the Coliseum Events Center Ticket Booth, which opens one hour before game time.