For the third time in the team’s 12-year history, the El Paso Rhinos will host the annual Western States Hockey League season finale tournament, featuring six of the best teams in the nation, at the El Paso County Coliseum Events Center (4100 East Paisano.)
The first round gets underway April 11, with the semifinals April 14 and the championship April 15.
“We are excited to have teams from around the country experience the hospitality of the Sun City,” said El Paso Rhinos coach Cory Herman. “We’re also thankful to have the support of El Paso behind us as we make a run for the Thorne Cup here in Rhino Country.”
The Rhinos have two Thorne Cup titles – 2008 and 2014.
The last time El Paso hosted the Thorne Cup tournament, the team won the championship with a stellar 44-2 record. Currently, the Rhinos are in the midst of a phenomenal season with a 46-1-1 record, so far, in their quest to win the title once again on home ice.
The Rhinos have only three games left in the regular season – 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 2-3, and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 4, against the Wichita Jr. Thunder at the Events Center – before competing in the Thorne Cup playoffs.
The WSHL is an Amateur Athletic Union-sanctioned Tier II Junior A ice hockey league, which features 23 teams split into four divisions: Mid-Western, Western, Northwestern and Mountain.
El Paso plays in the Mid-Western Division, along with the Oklahoma City Blazers, Dallas Snipers, Springfield Express and Thunder.
Tickets, which will cost $7, $10, $15, $20, $30 and $35, plus fees, will be available at the Coliseum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000 and online.