3View: El Paso Rhinos
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2021-22 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2021-22 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2020-21 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
El Paso Rhinos
2020-21 Record: 28-6-6, 62 pts. (3rd in South Division)
2021 Playoffs: Lost in Division Semi-Finals
Head Coach: Nick Mammel
2021-22 Division: South
The El Paso Rhinos made their debut in the NA3HL last season, and immediately established themselves as contenders in the South Division.
Once playoff time rolled around, though, the Rhinos were outmatched by the eventual Division Champion Texas Brahmas and bowed out in the first round.
Ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, new Head Coach Nick Mammel is looking to learn lessons from last season to help the Rhinos climb atop the division in the new year.
“No doubt last year was a solid debut for us, getting into the playoffs of the South Division,” he said, “This year we will need to be deeper throughout our lineup and use what we have learned last year to benefit us against our opponents to advance further into the playoffs.”
Though there is room for improvement, don’t expect the Rhinos to make any drastic changes. The team’s forechecking and high-energy style of play will again be a hallmark of El Paso hockey.
“We expect to be an incredibly hard team to play against. Our goal is to be relentless in pursuit of the puck as well as not letting up when things are going our way,” said Mammel.
During the 2020-21 season, John Mulvihill and Cole Schneider led the Rhinos with 61 and 60 points, respectively, and earned tenders with NAHL clubs. Now, Mammel is counting on some of last year’s other standouts to shine with more opportunity.
“Leading the way this year for us will be Noah Easterson, Trey Erramouspe, Cole Ingram and Ethan Marcola. All four of them were with us last year and know the type of game we want to play and how we want to work off the ice as well,” he said.
Easterson and Erramouspe in particular have a solid foundation to build on, with the former having notched 24 points in 30 games last season and the latter 16 in 29.
And though players like Mulvihill and Schneider leave large shoes to fill in terms of production, those kinds of departures are points of pride for Mammel and his staff.
In fact, last year’s Rhinos squad saw five players earn NAHL tenders — more than any other NA3HL squad. Mammel says it’s a reflection of the quality of the team as a whole, from the players on the ice to the staff in the front office.
“Our goal is to lead the NA3HL in (NAHL) advancement for the second year in a row. Having that honor last year just speaks to the type of young men we bring into our program and the respect our program has for getting them ready to play higher levels of hockey,” said Mammel.
After such a strong first season in the league, the message is clear for Mammel’s team heading into year two: keep your eyes on the prize.
“We need to end in the top four of our division,” he said.
“We need a shot to play in playoffs and compete for a Fraser Cup.”
Next up: Gillette Wild