Hockey in El Paso – Here to Stay
This weekend people in Minnesota, the self designated “State of Hockey,” New England, Michigan, and numerous communities where winter means rivers, ponds, and lakes, have turned to ice will celebrate Hockey Weekend Across America. Sunday NBC will dedicate hours to feature and NHL coverage. Many northern folks might be surprised to find there is actually a pretty enthusiastic hockey community thriving along the Rio Grande.
Famous hockey mom Sarah Palin might figuratively be able to see Russia from her house, but from the top of the El Paso Coliseum Events Center you can literally see Mexico from our rink. Don’t miss the left onto Paisano from Patriot Freeway or you will see nowhere to go but over the International Bridge into Mexico, the same bridge a few players from Juarez regularly drive across for that elusive opportunity to lace ‘em up.
Fueled by the growing fan base of the El Paso Rhinos, transplants who came with a love of the sport, and contributed to by Ft. Bliss, El Paso hockey players are a growing number. All levels of skill are represented during the 6 days where competitive games are played. No group more dedicated than perhaps those who hit the ice at 6:45 every Saturday morning. Every day, most hours, you’ll find hockey, not figure skates, occupying the ice. Playing a game, practicing, or learning the game, more and more El Pasoans are hitting the ice stick in hand.
El Paso still has a long way to grow to become a true hockey hot bed. During this past Monday night’s “hockey at a fun pace” league game a soldier from Ft. Bliss commented, “I didn’t even know this existed, and now (that I do) I’m being shipped out.” Still, word in the borderland is that ice is being used for more than keeping the cerveza cold.
To find out more about El Paso hockey and how you can get involved, visit the official El Paso hockey website.