Northwest Division Showcase Games Preview

by Charles Woodall-Pike

As December rolls on, the 2017 Western States Shootout draws closer. The 23 teams of the WSHL are making their final preparations before entering the showcase. With the showcase being the official end of the first half, everyone wants to make a strong statement heading into the 2018 portion of the season. The Northwest Division has some key matchups lined up for the showcase and here is a list of games to spotlight for each team.

Bellingham – 12/20 vs. Dallas Snipers

The Blazers and Snipers have both been struggling to find consistency all season. Bellingham’s longest winning streak has been two games, while the merciless Mid-West Division, outside of Wichita, has pummeled Dallas for most of the season. Both sides will be looking at the showcase as a chance to put together some momentum.

Idaho – 12/19 vs. El Paso Rhinos

The IceCats were rolling through the season before suffering their first setback on the road against Ogden. The Western States Shootout will really test Idaho and it starts with a matchup against El Paso. The Rhinos started the season with 24 consecutive wins and have once again proven to be one of the WSHL’s elite teams. With Oklahoma City and Colorado waiting afterwards, the IceCats will definitely have their hands full in Las Vegas.

Lake Tahoe – 12/19 vs. Superior RoughRiders

Lake Tahoe and Superior are both middle of the pack teams. The Icemen have been up-and-down all season but have held on to second place in the Northwest. Meanwhile, the RoughRiders started off strong in the competitive Mountain Division but have since cooled off. It should be a good matchup for both sides as they try to find the right track and ride it for a while.

Seattle – 12/20 vs. Phoenix Knights

This is a case of two teams that have been trending in opposite directions. Since Oct. 27, the Totems are 1-10-2 entering the second weekend of December. In that same time, the Knights are 8-5-2. Seattle needs to turn things around and a win against a surging Phoenix squad might give the Totems the jump they need for the second half.

Southern Oregon – 12/21 vs. San Diego Sabers

The Spartans have been mired in the Northwest Division cellar almost all season. Fortunately for Southern Oregon, their showcase schedule features three teams with a combined four victories. Their last game at the showcase against San Diego will be big for the Spartans, as they will not play again for a month (Jan. 19-21 vs. West Sound)

West Sound – 12/21 vs. Springfield Express

The Warriors are currently battling Lake Tahoe for the second seed in the Northwest Division. West Sound will be looking to make a statement at the showcase and they finish the event with Springfield. The Express have been the definitive third team in the Mid-West Division: they handle Dallas and Wichita with ease and struggle against El Paso and Oklahoma City. This will be a good challenge for West Sound as they try to assert themselves as one of the Northwest’s best teams.