Rhinos become back-to-back Throne Cup Champions


Isaiah Ramirez, Sports Editor

For the fourth time in team history and the second year in a row, the El Paso Rhinos are Thorne Cup Champions after defeating the Ogden Mustangs 2-0 in Ogden, Utah. Last season the Rhinos defeated the Mustangs for the Throne Cup Championship 3-2 at the El Paso County Special Events Center for their third Thorne Cup trophy in program history.

The Rhinos have now captured the Thorne Cup Championship in 2008, 2014, 2018 and 2019.

After going undefeated in the round-robin portion of the Throne Cup Finals against the Oklahoma City Blazers, Long Beach Bombers, and Ogden Mustangs.

In their matchup against the Blazers in the round-robin portion of the championships, the Rhinos earned a 6-0 shutout win. The Rhinos tallied 42 shots on goal and six different forwards earned a goal-Sam Robinson, Martin Dubsky, Sam Sykes, Max Kamper, Easton Easterson, and Jonas Burman.

Following that game, the Rhinos earned a 4-2 win against the Long Beach Bombers with the Rhinos having 21 shots on goal. Defenseman JC Dubecky scored two goals for the Rhinos as well as forwards Adam Stalzer and Max Kamper.

Goalie Nils Velm recorded well needed saves for the game and stopped 26 of the Bombers 28 shots.

The final matchup in the round-robin portion of the Throne Cup pitted the Rhinos against their familiar foes in the Ogden Mustangs. The Rhinos would earn a 3-2 overtime win over the Mustangs as Kamper scored the game-winning goal.

The Rhinos would go on to have 43 shots on net. Forwards Dillion Manchester and Martin Dubsky would add goals for the Rhinos. Velm would have the clutch gene in the overtime portion of the game recording 25 saves in the extra period.

For a spot in the Thorne Cup Championship game, the Rhinos would go up against the Oklahoma City Blazers in what was anything but a competitive matchup cruising to a 7-2 win.

Goalie Richie Parent stopped 33 of the 35 shots by the Blazers and Easterson would have two goals and an assist for the game.

In the end, it was deja vu for the Rhinos as the only obstacle on their path to capturing a Thorne Cup Championship for the second year in a row was the Ogden Mustangs.

After two periods, the Rhinos would lead 1-0 after a goal by Dubsky and in third period Kamper would put a stamp on the win with a goal in the final minutes of the third period. When it was all over, the Rhinos would earn a 2-0 win and the championship would remain in El Paso.

Defensemen JC Dubecky, Donald Alchin, forwards Martin Dubsky, Sam Sykes, and goalie Richie Parent was named to the 2019 Thorne Cup All-League Team.

Since the inception of the Rhinos in 2006, the team has earned 10 western division championships, four Thorne Cup Championships, and a silver medal in the 2011 USA Hockey Tier III Jr. Nationals.

A fan party hosted by the El Paso Rhinos will take place at 6 p.m. April 16 at the El Paso Special Events Center. Fans can meet and celebrate with the players, coaches, and staff, and bid on Rhino warm-up jerseys and win raffles.