The above picture is a real box score from a Western States Hockey League game this past weekend featuring the Vail Powderhounds and the Cheyenne Stampede, let’s just say it didn’t go well for Vail.
The two teams squared off three times over the weekend with Cheyenne winning the other two games 18-1 and 12-1 for a weekend throttling of 53-2 in the three game series.
Some highlights from the game: Cheyenne had four players score three or more goals, and two players, Dusan Olsa and Dmitry Kuznetsov had 10 points each in the win.
But my favorite thing that was just pointed out on Twitter: Vail had someone on the box score named, “Home Unknown Player 1.” Almost certain to be an NHL star someday!
For the season, Vail is 1-10-0 and has been outscored 109-18, a goal difference of -91. That’s right, in 11 games they are giving up 10.9 goals per game. That’s bad.
Amazingly, that -91 goal differential is not the worst in the league, but their 10.9 GAA is. The Arizona Hawks are 1-13-1 and have given up 150 goals on the year, an even 10 per game, and sit a -128 goal differential.
I covered a team in this league for two years, so to give you some background on the WSHL, it’s a Tier II (so they claim) hockey league featuring all teams west of the Mississippi River. Scores of around 10-0 or so were not uncommon in the two-plus years that I covered the local team.
For every team that could actually be a Tier II team, there were just as many teams who had no business even existing, let alone claiming they are a Tier II caliber team. Some teams probably wouldn’t be good enough to win a high school state title in some states, let alone be considered a Tier II hockey team.
It wasn’t just on the ice where the league lacked, it was facilities as well. Some teams played in very nice arena with modern seating and amenities, the team we covered played in a rinky-dink arena that was barely good enough for beer league skates and featured six rows of wooden bleachers that could hold about 500 people. One player for the team I covered in my two-plus years of experience with the league said the arena the team played in was, “the worst rink I have ever played in. It was a dump.”
The WSHL has been around for a number of years, but in 2011 dropped its USA Hockey sanction and joined the Amateur Athletic Union and United Hockey Union.
The biggest difference between the WSHL and actual Tier II leagues like the NAHL, is that players in the WSHL still pay to play, and that cost can be around $7,000 per season, while the NAHL is free.
So yeah, the WSHL is bad outside of a couple teams.