The Steamboat Wranglers will be joining the Western States Hockey League in the Mountain Division.

by Via Steamboat Wranglers

The Steamboat Wranglers Junior Hockey Club is proud to announce new ownership and a new league.

The Wranglers will be joining the Western States Hockey League in the Mountain Division. This constitutes a significant move up in competition from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Junior A League hockey.  Teams in the Western Division of the WSHL include the Casper Coyotes, Colorado Junior Eagles out of Fort Collins, Ogden Mustangs, Utah Outliers from Salt Lake City, and the Cheyenne Stampede.

WSHL President/Commissioner Ron White writes, “All of us at the Western States Hockey League are excited about the Steamboat Wranglers’ transition to the WSHL. We believe the experienced ownership, affiliation with Salmon Arm of the BCHL, veteran junior coach, and a terrific community in such a beautiful location will be a major asset to the Mountain Division and the WSHL overall. We are looking forward to raising the WSHL banner in Howelsen Ice Complex. We believe the team will do very well in all aspects.”

The Wranglers will be playing 52 games during the regular season in the WSHL, with 24 home games at Howelsen Ice Complex in Steamboat Springs. The WSHL has four divisions with 22 teams, and has a long history of creating successful hockey players over its 26 years of existence. The season will start in October, and the Steamboat Wrangler organization looks forward to continuing its relationship with the City of Steamboat Springs and the staff at Howelsen Ice Complex.

The Steamboat Wranglers began a search for a more challenging league after being informed that the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League would be dissolving. The Steamboat team spent two years in the RMJHL, making it to the final championship game both years, and winning the regular season, before taking the championship in the playoffs in March 2018.

With the search for a new league came the search for local co-ownership. The Wranglers have been part of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks hockey family, under the management of Salmon Arm President Troy Mick. “It became very clear after two years that running the business from another country had its challenges but we are so happy we were able to bring a championship team to Steamboat Springs. The team is in great hands and the returning staff members will continue to provide the players an opportunity to get an education playing the game they love. I personally have met many great people in Steamboat and will cherish my time in the ‘BOAT! We would like to thank all of the Wranglers staff, players, billet families and community for supporting the Wranglers the last two seasons and wish the new group nothing but success as the Silverbacks will be supporting them from Canada with their recruiting efforts today and always.”

The decision was made to sell the team to a local group of Steamboat businessmen, who are passionate about the sport of hockey. Brent Pearson, a local entrepreneur is one of the partners, who will be aiding in the team’s direction. “We are very excited to take over the ownership of the Steamboat Wranglers, and continue the success of the team, while furthering the hockey careers of those athletes recruited to come to Steamboat to play hockey. With the expansion of Howelsen Ice Complex and a new sheet of ice in the works, having a Tier 2 hockey team of this caliber solidifies Steamboat’s place in the international hockey community, while providing a great alternate source of entertainment for locals and visitors alike. We, as a group with deep ties to the Steamboat hockey community, also feel that this will provide another level of hockey for our youth to aspire to.”

Wrangler Head Coach Joakim Falt also returns to the Wranglers to coach for a second year, after leading the team to the league championships in the spring. He has started the process of recruiting players to play for the Wranglers, at camps across North America. Coach Falt also plans to recruit internationally. “I am excited to continue coaching in Steamboat Springs and get the recruiting process going to get the best players to play for the Wranglers this season.”

Shannon Lukens will continue her role as announcer and Social Media coordinator, while taking on the job of Dir. of Sales and Marketing. “Steamboat has the best fans of any hockey rink in Colorado, and maybe even the country. I can’t wait to get the crowd going with great music and great hockey at more Wrangler games this season.” Lukens brings a wealth of experience announcing sporting events throughout Colorado. It is her third year with the Wrangler organization.

For more information, contact:

Steamboat Wranglers Junior Hockey Club

1195 Bangtail Way, Unit 1  Steamboat Springs, CO  80487

P.O. Box 774165, Steamboat Springs, CO   80477