Midwest Division Playoff Primer

by Eric Rogers

The Thorne Cup Playoffs begin in just a couple short weeks, and the Midwest Division has had their seedings set for about a month, allowing for teams to prepare for their opponents in their quest for the Thorne Cup. The El Paso Rhinos sewed up the Midwest Division regular season title at the end of February, as they separated themselves from the Oklahoma City Blazers in the standings.

With only five teams in the Division, the Midwest will have a unique look to their bracket. The first round will feature a single matchup between the Wichita Jr. Thunder and the Dallas Snipers, with the winner taking on the Rhinos in the Division Semifinal.

With both teams getting a bye in Round One, the Blazers and Springfield Express will be a hard-fought series with some weeks to prepare. During their stretch of seven-straight games earlier in the regular season, the Express picked up three straight wins against OKC, but the Blazers ultimately won the stretch, four games to three.

On the other side, the Rhinos will take on the winner of Dallas and Wichita, as either team will be searching for a big upset against the number one team in the WSHL.

As El Paso is hosting the Thorne Cup Finals in April, the Rhinos get an automatic bid regardless of their performance in the Division brackets. Should the Rhinos make it to the Division Finals to take on either OKC or Springfield, the Blazers or Express will earn a spot in the Cup Finals as the Midwest Division representative.