After a nearly three-week layoff, the El Paso Rhinos return home this week to face the Tulsa Junior Oilers. Judging from the Western States Hockey League standings, the two teams are headed in opposite directions. The Rhinos are currently in first place in the Mountain Conference with 29 points while the Oilers are last in the Mid-West Conference with 8 points.  Despite the difference in points, Rhinos head coach Cory Herman is not looking past his next opponent. "They are a first year team, with a great coach who has coached a number of years in the league," Herman said. "They came off of a great weekend in Dallas where they took four out of six points."

The Rhinos last played on November 24th, and swept a series against the Wichita Jr. Thunder. El Paso outscored Wichita 44-7 in the three-game series. Despite the lopsided scores, Coach Herman expects a little rust from his team.

"Yes, I think there will be some rust," Herman admitted. "We have been keeping our regular schedule since we last played to try and keep the rust to a minimum. I would like to see more hard work and blue collar hockey, keeping it simple. There will be lineup changes. We play seven games in a span of eight days so we have to make sure that we are distributing our personnel."

The Rhinos will travel to Las Vegas next week for the annual Western States Hockey League Showcase. Coach Herman knows his team is excited about playing in Vegas, but will try and keep his team focused for the Junior Oilers. The teams will face off Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Sierra Providence Events Center.  On Saturday night, Apex Diversified Solutions will be a sponsoring a Rhinos team picture giveaway for all fans in attendance. Game times for Friday and Saturday are 7:30pm while Sunday's game is set for 4:30pm. Single game tickets start as low as five dollars and can be purchased at the Coliseum Box Office or any Ticketmaster location. For more information, call 479-PUCK (7825) or visit www.elpasorhinos.com.