Oklahoma City Blazers Hockey

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The Oklahoma City Blazers and El Paso Rhinos will once again clash on the border in south Texas this weekend as they play a 3 in 3 set at the Sierra Providence Events Center in El Paso. The Rhinos expect to welcome the Blazers back to El Paso with a trio of possible sellouts which will undoubtedly be a very hostile atmosphere for Oklahoma City.

“We know what to expect when we play here,” said Head Coach Tyler Fleck. “It will be loud and the game will have a very good pace. They feed off the crowd and we will have to be focused on the game and our execution.”

Until the first ever meeting between these two powerhouse clubs, El Paso had not suffered a defeat at home in over two years. The Blazers stunned the Rhinos and the rest of the WSHL early last season knocking off the champs in the first ever meeting.

That game would prove to start arguably the nastiest rivalry this league has seen in it’s history.

Now, with the tides turned, the first place Blazers will have to battle the Rhinos again this weekend. OKC has clinched the Midwest division pennant but have a  magic number of 5.5 with 6 games remaining to clinch conference and league pennants and secure home ice throughout the playoffs. The Rhinos are gunning for the coveted second spot in the division and an important first round playoff bye. Both teams have a lot on the line besides the rivalry being just what it is.

El Paso is the hottest team in league right now and are led by forwards Connor Beaudet and Petr Ceslik who have accounted for a major portion of the Rhinos offense combining for 110 points between the two. The Rhinos are 12-1-1 in their last 14 games.

“They are playing very well and seem to be playing with confidence. El Paso has added a few guys and it has helped them a great deal.”

The Blazers are getting it done with depth up front and steady defense and will need to be sharp this weekend if they want to stay in the hunt for a regular season league pennant.

“We just need to play our game. Break it down to winning each shift and the small one on one battles. If we do that, the end result will take care of itself.”