Record: W: 46 – L: 8 – OTW: 3 – OTL: 3
Division Champions & Thorne Cup Champions
View season stats here.
RACKING UP WINS IN THE REGULAR-SEASON
The Rhinos started the 2018-19 season with eight returners from the 2018 Thorne Cup team. The experienced leadership helped the Rhinos achieve success early as the Team was able to earn six straight wins in the first six games. However, they hit a small road bump when they were swept by the Long Beach Bombers in California and prolific goal-scorer and three-year veteran Chaseton Sare was called up to the United States Hockey League’s Central Illinois Flying Aces. The Rhinos bounced back immediately with three more wins in the following series against the Utah Outliers at home. The Rhinos’ record was peppered with wins and losses in the five subsequent series before the annual WSHL Showcase. At the Western States Shootout in Las Vegas, El Paso won two of their three games, falling to the Ogden Mustangs, 5-3.
Following the mid-season break, the team racked up win after win, only losing to the Oklahoma City Blazers twice in Oklahoma and once at home. While the success kept coming, only five returners, Ty Erramouspe, JC Dubecky, Adam Stalzer, Max Kamper and Donald Alchin, remained by the trade deadline. These five players were determined to be the only Rhinos in franchise history to earn back-to-back championships.
El Paso finished the regular season with a record of 37-8-3-3 (W-L-OTW-OTL) and earned the top seed in the Mid-Western Division to start their playoff run at home. The Rhinos swept the Dallas Snipers in the Mid-Western Division Semi-Finals and went on to sweep the Oklahoma City Blazers for the franchise’s tenth Division Championship in Rhino Country.
TOPPING OGDEN FOR BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Following two rounds of playoffs in El Paso, the Rhinos traveled to Ogden, Utah for the Thorne Cup Finals, where they breezed through their first two games of round robin play, topping the Bellingham Blazers and Long Beach Bombers. After an overtime win against the host team, the Ogden Mustangs in their final round robin game, El Paso routed the Oklahoma City Blazers, 7-2, in the Thorne Cup Semi-Finals and advanced to the Championship game. The Championship game, like the 2018 Thorne Cup finals, once again featured the El Paso Rhinos and the Ogden Mustangs. Although the Rhinos were in Mustang territory this time, goaltender Richie Parent and the Rhino defense shutout the Mustangs while Martin Dubsky and Max Kamper earned the only two goals of the game. With a 2-0 win, the Rhinos became the 2019 Thorne Cup champions and earned their second championship in two seasons. Following the game, JC Dubecky, Donald Alchin, Martin Dubsky, Richie Parent and Sam Sykes were named to the 2019 All Thorne Cup Team.
In their final run for the 2019 Thorne Cup, El Paso did not lose a single game in the post-season and improved their record to 46-8-3-3 (W-L-OTW-OTL). Four of those playoff wins were played at home in front of a sold-out crowd and were part of a record breaking 23-game sellout streak.
Following the season, JC Dubecky, Ty Erramouspe, and Adam Stalzer signed with the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos while Max Kamper committed to Iowa State.