Rhinos Anniversary

Join The Conversation

Mobile App


Just Chirp'n 10

11/11/2009 11:38 PM -
Just Chirp’n #10 2009-2010

November 11, 2009

by Michael Hissam

El Paso Rhino Head Coach Cory Herman hates excuses.

He will never hide behind the fact that his comfortably-in-first-place team has held its spot despite injuries and illnesses that never allowed him to put the exact team on the ice at the exact moment he wanted.  Goalie Andrew Duff and defenseman Drew Montague prowl the wrong side of the north-end dashers in street shoes, unable to get into the action.  David Fegler got derailed with a malady knocking him out of his right-wing spot, and, in his case, penalty box duties.

Comfortably in first?  Word to the wise in the west Texas town is, “¡No sean flojos!”  A nice translation is, “Don’t get lazy.”  There exist other translations in hockey language.  However, this is a “family oriented” column.   Herman won’t let this team “mail in” three victories against New Mexico starting Friday in the Duke City and finishing Saturday and Sunday in the Sun City.

Herman knows New Mexico – current occupants of last place – derailed Tulsa for two of three last weekend up in Oklahoma, and gave El Paso fits the weekend before. “Their goalie (Colton Ishmael) ‘stood on his head’ stopping about 50 shots each game from us.  They gave us all we could handle up there.  He’s given the team a lot of confidence.”

Herman added his strategy is to “put traffic in front of their goalie.  We’ll take the ugly goals, the garbage goals.  If that kid sees the shot, he stops it!”

New Mexico bench boss Peter Ambroziak pointed to Ishmael as the sparkplug behind his club’s resurgence.  It is a trend that started a couple weekends ago when the Renegades held El Paso to surprisingly-low winning margins, and taken further with the two “W’s” in Tulsa.  “Colton has started in all three of our victories, two of them in his hometown of Tulsa.  He has worked his way to become our Number One goalie.  He took the opportunity and ran with it.  Two of three has given us confidence.”

Ambroziak likes the fact that his team faces the Rhinos so often in the first half of the Western States Hockey League 2009-2010 season.  “We step up our game when we play them.  It will help us down the road when we play others. Our goal this weekend is to steal one or two from El Paso – give them a game!  I’m looking forward to more parity in our division as the season goes on.”

New Mexico may be 3-15 in the standings.  For what it’s worth, in year one of the old Western Professional Hockey League, the El Paso Buzzards had pretty much the same record – then blasted off to take the championship.  “¡No sean flojos!” are words to the wise.
Herman’s translation:  “Just compete every shift.  I want 20 competitors out there, not 20 guys just happy to wear the Rhino jersey.  Losses happen when you say, ‘We’ll win this one easy.’”

(Inland) Empire Strikes Back:  The first two words describe the portion of the Los Angeles megalopolis out around the city of Ontario and points east.  Ontario is home to the ECHL Reign.  Thanks go to Reign PR/Community/Corporate Relations Director Laura Tolbirt for last weekend’s hospitality when the Victoria Salmon Kings came to town.  She runs a top-notch communications effort in a new building – totally paid for – that can house about 9,000 for hockey.  It also has bells and whistles “Soundguy” would love.  Next stop on the annual ECHL scouting mission will be Estero, Florida to see the Everblades.

¡Hasta la vista!  mhissam@elpasorhinos.com

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007