NEW SEASON, SAME FAMILIAR RIVAL
For the last two seasons, there have been many rivalries in the Western States Hockey League that have made for some exciting hockey. Not many, if any, however hold the intensity that exists within the battle of I-15 between the Utah Outliers and the Ogden Mustangs. Last season, the two teams battled hard for every inch on the ice and all but two games were decided by two goals or fewer. The Outliers went on to finish first in the Mountain Division during the regular season but the Mustangs were able to get their revenge winning the Mountain Division in the playoffs with two overtime wins. If recent history stays the course, this year should once again be filled with action packed and thrilling games.
Starting Saturday, September 29th, at the Acord Ice Arena in West Valley, the Utah Outliers and the Ogden Mustangs kick off the first game of the regular season in the WSHL. All eyes will be on the game, examining how these two top teams look after a long summer of recruiting and building their clubs.
One thing these two teams share in common is that both Utah and Ogden have only six returning players coming into the season. These twelve players know the history and what it is truly like throughout a regular season playing against each other and competing in the competitive Mountain Division. A major change this season comes in the form of the Northern Colorado Eagles leaving the Mountain Division and joining the Midwest Division. Last year it was a three-team race for the crown, and with the Eagles now gone from that picture, another team (Casper, Cheyenne, Steamboat) will look to step up and challenge both the Outliers and Mustangs for top spot.
Utah and Ogden will battle nine times this season (possibly more including playoffs), so every player and fan will get plenty of time to learn about one another throughout the year. Each game these two teams play promises to be a high-octane experience and marquee league matchup. With a high amount of roster turnover, it should be very interesting to see the new look of both teams. Who will fill the skates of the departed players from last season’s teams? Will there be a similar matchup style of high-powered offense vs stout defense? So many questions surround how these two teams will match up this season, and it all begins this Saturday at 6:30pm MST!