Despite not reaching the Thorne Cup finals last season, the Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers enjoyed a successful first season in the Western States Hockey League. It came down to the wire last season as the Blazers pushed the defending Thorne Cup champion El Paso Rhinos to the third of a three-game set, but ultimately fell to end their season.
That loss only feeds into the want of another try next season, as the Blazers begin their second season in the WSHL, now a tier-II junior league in the United Hockey Union. The Blazers have already signed a few returnees from their inaugural roster in Lubos Vacek, Drake Johnson, and Kole Hudson – while also introducing a new names in Tomas Rubes and high-scoring forward Tomas Nemeth.
The WSHL recently released their schedule for the 2015-16 season, with a few highlights on the schedule for the Blazers. To start the season, the Blazers will begin on the road in Wichita, Kansas on October 2nd to take on the Jr. Thunder in a three-game set. The Blazers make their home debut two weeks later on October 16th as they welcome the Springfield Express for a three-game set of their own.
The next three weeks feature some unique matchups for the team this season. The Blazers head to Salt Lake City, Utah for their first matchup ever against the Salt Lake City Moose on October 23rd. Making their first trips to the Blazers Ice Centre will be the Cheyenne Stampede (October 30th-November 1st) and the Casper Coyotes (November 13-15). The Blazers met the Coyotes last season at the Western States Showdown, defeating the Coyotes 5-3. The Coyotes were the eventual Mountain Division champions.
The Tulsa Jr. Oilers makes their first visit to Oklahoma City on November 25th, while the Blazers head to Tulsa on November 11th to begin the rivalry once again. The battle of the heavyweights in the Midwest Division commences on January 15th, when the defending division champions El Paso Rhinos head to Oklahoma City. The Blazers visit El Paso on February 26th. The Blazers finish off the season at home against the Dallas Snipers on the weekend of March 4th.
Finally, the Blazers will host the inaugural WSHL All-Star Game on January 6th as they take on a team compiled of all-stars from the other teams in the WSHL.
Lots of exciting things happening at the Blazers Ice Centre this season, as the Blazers continue the tradition of hockey in Oklahoma City. 2015-16 is just around the corner.