El Paso Rhinos

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El Paso Rhinos
Elpasorhinos logo.jpg
City El Paso, Texas
League WSHL
Division Midwest
Founded 2006
Home arena Sierra Providence Event Center
Colors Orange, Black, Grey, White
General manager Canada Cory Herman
Head coach Canada Cory Herman
Captain United States Jack Strusz
Media America One
Franchise history
2006 – present El Paso Rhinos
Division Championships 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010–11, 2008–09, 2007–08, 2006–07
Playoff championships 2008 Thorne Cup, 2010–11 USA Hockey Jr National Silver Medal

The El Paso Rhinos are a Junior "A" ice hockey team, based in El Paso, Texas. The Rhinos compete as part Midwest Division of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Their home games are played at the Sierra Providence Events Center located within the El Paso County Coliseum complex.

Team history[edit]

The Rhinos were founded in 2006 by Cory Herman, a retired former El Paso Buzzards professional hockey player.[1] The Buzzards had ceased operations in 2003 and Herman wanted to bring Ice Hockey back to the city of El Paso. The team began their first season as a Junior B team and became a Junior A team just before the start of the 2007–08 season when USA Hockey approved the WSHL's transition into being a Junior A league. The Rhinos youth hockey program also has teams from mini-mites to midget major AA.

The Rhinos presence in El Paso has been nothing short of a success. They have consistently set and shattered league records. In 2007–08 they led the league in attendance[2][3] a trend that has continued into the 2008–09 season. They have also ended each of their seasons with players at the top of the WSHL leaderboards.[4][5]

The Rhinos have won a total of six Division titles in their six seasons in the WSHL. Five of those have been in the league's Midwest Division while the team won the Mountain Division championship in their first year in that division. For the 2013-2014 season, the Rhinos will move back to the WSHL's Midwest Division.


Updated June 18, 2013.[6]

# Player Pos. Shoots Height Weight Place of Birth
3 United States Tommy Malkums RW R 5' 10" 170 lbs. Bismarck, North Dakota, USA
6 United States Chad Cesarz C R 6' 1" 200 lbs. Detroit, Michigan, USA
7 United States Michael Rivera C R 5' 9" 170 lbs. El Paso, Texas, USA
8 United States David Nelson LW R 6' 0" 200 lbs. Warroad, Minnesota, USA
10 Canada Fabien Dube LW L 5' 11 195 lbs St-Paulin, Québec, CAN
11 United States Aaron Rasmussen LW R 5' 11" 180 lbs. Warroad, Minnesota, USA
12 United States Kendal Craig RW R 6' 0" 185 lbs. Amarillo, Texas, USA
14 United States Nolan Stanley LW L 6' 1" 170 lbs. Boise, Idaho, USA
16 United States Andrew Bradford LW R 6' 3" 195 lbs. Denver, Colorado, USA
17 United States John Morales C R 5' 11" 165 lbs. Torrance, California, USA
18 United States Tyler Brady RW R 6' 0" 180 lbs. Powell, Ohio, USA
19 Canada Tyler Basham C R 5' 10" 170 lbs. Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
21 United States Taylor Bargar RW L 5' 10" 185 lbs. Torrance, California, USA
23 United States Austin Hoff LW L 6' 3" 205 lbs. Lake Stevens, Washington, USA
27 United States Brenden Gust C L 5' 3" 150 lbs. Emerado, North Dakota, USA
28 United States John Ludwig RW L 6' 0" 175 lbs. Rolling Hills, California, USA
# Player Pos. Shoots Height Weight Place of Birth
2 United States Gunnar Bjorklund D R 5' 11" 185 lbs. Bozeman, Montana, USA
4 Czech Republic Jan Dam D L 6' 3" 205 lbs. Liberec, Czech Republic
5 Czech Republic Matej Steiguaf D R 6' 7" 220 lbs. Kladno, Czech Republic
9 United States Trent Edwards D R 6' 4" 200 lbs. Littleton, Colorado, USA
15 United States Brendon Edson D L 5' 11" 210 lbs. Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
22 United States Chris Wilhite D L 6' 1" 175 lbs. Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
24 United States Nick Wright D L 6' 5" 210 lbs. New Boston, Michigan, USA
25 United States C Jack Strusz D R 6' 3" 210 lbs. Red Wing, Minnesota, USA
# Player Pos. Catches Height Weight Place of Birth
1 United States Issak Tjaden G L 5' 11" 165 lbs. West St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
30 Adam Vay G L 6' 7" 220 lbs. Hungary, HGR
31 Canada Ryan Buttazzoni G L 6'3" 210 lbs. Hinton, Alberta, Canada

Community Outreach[edit]

The Rhinos frequently wear specialized jerseys on the ice and auction them off to help raise funds for local and/or charitable causes. They have raised money for causes including, but not limited to: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Special Olympics, and local youth hockey. The Rhinos also receive strong mutual support from the U.S. Military stationed at nearby Fort Bliss. The Rhinos not only host Military Appreciation nights, but they also give free admission (courtesy of a local sponsor) to all Military personnel and their families.

Coach Herman was approached by Karrie Kern the CEO of the U.S. Branch of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, after seeing the team's bus in San Antonio, TX. During their conversation she told him the story of an orphaned rhinoceros in Zimbabwe named Tatenda, and jokingly suggested the team adopt her as their mascot. The Rhinos organization thought this was a great idea and so in November 2008 the team adopted Tatenda.[7]


  1. ^ "EP Rhinos History". El Paso Times. September 19, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Western States Hockey League – attendance | Pointstreak Sports Technologies". Pointstreak.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Western States Hockey League – attendance | Pointstreak Sports Technologies". Pointstreak.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Western States Hockey League – scoring leaders | Pointstreak Sports Technologies". Pointstreak.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Western States Hockey League – goalie leaders | Pointstreak Sports Technologies". Pointstreak.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ "El Paso Rhinos: Players". El Paso Rhinos. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  7. ^ El Paso Rhinos: Tatenda, retrieved 2013-06-18 

External links[edit]