Record: W: 28 – L: 8 – OTW: 2 – OTL: 2
View season stats here.
EL PASO IS KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE USA!
Since December 2019, the El Paso Rhinos, the El Paso Hockey Association and the entire city of El Paso were campaigning to win Kraft Hockeyville USA, a sweepstakes contest presented by Kraft Heinz, the NHL and the NHLPA. The winner receives $150,000 for rink upgrades and the opportunity to host an NHL game. In the first round of the competition in March, fans helped El Paso become the only rink in Texas and the only rink south of Kansas to advance to the final four. Because of COVID, the last round of the contest was postponed to August. El Paso’s non-traditional hockey market was able to garner support from the city’s mayor, local politicians, the Chihuahuas and the Locomotive, celebrities and athletes including boxer Jennifer Han, former WWE star Sin Cara, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Mexico’s national hockey team, local media outlets, schools and businesses and so many others El Pasoans and Rhino fans across the country. Individuals and families voted ceaselessly for a period less than 24 hours to ensure El Paso had a chance at winning the title. Finally, after the four-month wait, on August 31, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced El Paso as Kraft Hockeyville USA.
Nearly immediately after the announcement, the Rhinos and EPHA began working on facility enhancements. The roof and the building were insulated to improve ice conditions, breezeways were installed to keep cold air inside the rink, the public restrooms were full renovated, and new LED lights were added over the seats and the ice. The NHL game was scheduled to be played at a later date to ensure that the community could safely enjoy the game and the activities.
FIRST SEASON IN THE NA3HL & COACHING CHANGES
While El Paso was celebrating as 2020 Kraft Hockeyville USA, the Rhinos were also anticipating their first season in the North American 3 Hockey League. The pandemic, unfortunately, prevented the Rhinos from playing at home until January 15. The team then went on an 11-game run at home to start the second half of the season and earned enough points to advance to playoffs. Unfortunately, the Rhinos ended the unusual season with two losses to the Oklahoma City Blazers and were ousted in the first round.
Following the season, long time coach and owner Cory Herman announced he would step away from coaching to focus on business operations. Assistant Coaches Anthony and Vinny Bohn finished the season with Cory Herman’s NA3HL team and were both promoted to the NAHL team for the 2021-2022 season.