Western States Hockey League

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Western States Hockey League
Sport Hockey
Founded 1993
Commissioner Ron White
No. of teams 28
Country  United States
Most recent champion(s) El Paso Rhinos (2013-14)
Most titles Phoenix Polar Bears (7)
Official website WSHL

Established in 1993, the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) is an United Hockey Union (UHU) sanctioned, Junior ice hockey league. The WSHL was previously (1994-2012) sanctioned by USA Hockey.


Year one consisted of six teams, spanning Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah, with all member clubs playing a 30-game schedule. The Anaheim Jr. Ducks won the first-ever Thorne Cup Championship that year and is the only franchise from the inaugural season still in existence, now operating as the Long Beach Bombers.

Current Commissioner Ron White took over operation of the WSHL in 1995 and continued to expand it over time, eventually getting it to where it is today, 28 teams stretching across 14 states, making it the second largest junior hockey league in North America.

The WSHL has had numerous teams attend and win the USA Hockey National Championship over the years and most recently, the El Paso Rhinos were crowned the United Hockey Union National Champions in 2014.

Whether it comprised as few as six or as many as 28 member clubs, the WSHL’s overwhelming goal has always been centered on developing hockey players, both on the ice and off, and helping them reach their goals through the sport they love. The WSHL has had great success in moving players on to the college hockey ranks through the “Western States Shootout”, an annual all-league showcase held every December in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event averages in excess of 80 scouts in attendance, all of whom are looking to bolster their roster for the following season.

The 2014-2015 regular season will feature 28 teams competing across four divisions, all playing a 46-game regular season schedule, which mimics what players would experience at the collegiate level. Hockey politics in Texas extended into the legal realm and appears to have resulted in the Polar Ice House closing its doors. This facility was the home arena of the Dallas Ice Jets and was expected to share it with the expansion Texas Attack. With the loss of their ice rink both teams had to bow out of the 2014-15 season. There has been no announcement if teams are folding permanently or are looking for options to return next season.


Midwest Division
Team Arena Location Team Website
Dallas Snipers Dr. Pepper StarCenter Euless, Texas Team Web Site
El Paso Rhinos Sierra Providence Event Center El Paso, Texas Team Web Site
Oklahoma City Blazers Blazers Ice Centre Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Team Web Site
Springfield Express Mediacom Ice Park Springfield, Missouri Team Web Site
Tulsa Jr. Oilers Oilers Ice Center Tulsa, Oklahoma Team Web Site
Wichita Jr. Thunder Wichita Ice Center Wichita, Kansas Team Web Site
Mountain Division
Team Arena Location Team Website
Casper Coyotes Casper Ice Arena Casper, Wyoming Team Web Site
Cheyenne Stampede Cheyenne Ice and Events Center Cheyenne, Wyoming Team Web Site
Colorado Evolution Big Bear Ice Arena Denver, Colorado Team Web Site
Colorado Jr. Eagles EPIC Ice Arena Fort Collins, Colorado Team Web Site
Colorado RoughRiders The Ice Ranch at Boulder Valley Superior, Colorado Team Web Site
Ogden Mustangs The Ice Sheet Ogden, Utah Team Web Site
Salt Lake City Moose Accord Ice Rink Salt Lake City, Utah Team Web Site
Western Division
Team Arena Location Team Website
Arizona Redhawks Peoria Polar Ice Peoria, Arizona Team Web Site
Fresno Monsters Gateway Ice Center Fresno, California Team Web Site
Las Vegas Storm Las Vegas Ice Center Las Vegas, Nevada Team Web Site
Long Beach Bombers Glacial Garden Skating Arena Lakewood, California Team Web Site
Ontario Avalanche The Center Ice Arena Ontario, California Team Web Site
Phoenix Knights AZ Ice Gilbert Gilbert, Arizona Team Web Site
San Diego Gulls Iceoplex Escondido Escondido, California Team Web Site
Valencia Flyers Ice Station Valencia Valencia, California Team Web Site
Northwest Division
Team Arena Location Team Website
Butte Cobras Butte Community Ice Center Butte, Montana Team Web Site
Idaho Jr. Steelheads Manchester Ice & Event Centre McCall, Idaho Team Web Site
Lake Tahoe Blue South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena South Lake Tahoe, California Team Web Site
Missoula Maulers Glacier Ice Rink Missoula, Montana Team Web Site
Seattle Totems Olympic View Arena Mountlake Terrace, Washington Team Web Site
Southern Oregon Spartans The RRRink Medford, Oregon Team Web Site
Whitefish Wolverines Stumptown Ice Den Whitefish, Montana Team Web Site


Season Thorne Cup champion Runner-up National Tournament result
1994-95 Anaheim Jr. Ducks
1995-96 Anaheim Jr. Ducks
1996-97 Flagstaff Mountaineers
1997-98 Flagstaff Mountaineers
1998-99 Ventura Mariners
1999-00 Ventura Mariners Junior B National Champions
2000-01 Ventura Mariners
2001-02 Phoenix Polar Bears Junior B National runner-up
2002-03 Phoenix Polar Bears Junior B National Champion
2003-04 Phoenix Polar Bears
2004-05 Phoenix Polar Bears
2005-06 Fort Worth Texans
2006-07 Phoenix Polar Bears El Paso Rhinos
2007-08 El Paso Rhinos Phoenix Polar Bears
2008-09 Phoenix Polar Bears
2009-10 Phoenix Polar Bears
2010-11 Idaho Jr. Steelheads
2011-12 Idaho Jr. Steelheads Dallas Ice Jets[1]
2012-13 Idaho Jr. Steelheads Bay Area Seals[2] UHU National Champion
2013-14 El Paso Rhinos Idaho Jr. Steelheads[3] UHU National Champion[4]


Team history[edit]

Teams that have played in the WSHL include:[5]

League staff[edit]

  • Don Thorne - Chairman of the Board
  • Ron White - Commissioner/President
  • Bob Armando - Deputy Commissioner/Vice President
  • Laura Ellis - Secretary
  • Brent Maranto - Director of Communications
  • Arthur Kitano - Director of Officials


  1. ^ "Gamesheet". WSHL. 5 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gamesheet". WSHL. 31 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Gamesheet". WSHL. 6 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "El Paso Rhinos Win 2014 UHU National Championship". Junior Hockey News. 21 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "WSHL History". WSHL. 

External links[edit]