The Western States Hockey League was able to finish its 2019-2020 regular season although the postseason was ultimately cut short. Going into the long offseason, we will review each team and highlight some big moments throughout. The order of each review is based on win%.
(Photo by Mark Mauno, WSHL)
To say that the Edson Aeros are a dominant team—playing at home in Repsol Place—is an understatement. They finished the 2019-2020 season with an unblemished 23-0-0 home record, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Edson’s undefeated streak at Repsol Place cannot be contained to a single season. They simply haven’t lost at home since falling to the Meadow Lake Mustangs on Nov. 24, 2018, and prior to that, against the Bellingham Blazers.
So in total, the Aeros are 44-2 at home, 81-9-1-1overall, since its inaugural game on Oct. 12, 2018. The home record is more impressive when comparing to Edson’s 2019-2020 overall mark of 44-3. They were able to reach the club-high after stringing together 21 and 23 game win streaks, with Showcase being the only discrepancy for them.
With that said, the Alberta-based squad finished first place in the Provincial Division with 132-points. The guiding force for the Aeros was largely its high-octane offense that out produced every WSHL team except for the Ogden Mustangs. Although Filip Myrskog and Greg Smith turned out to be top goalies in the league, they may have played a little more relaxed when conceding, knowing their team averaged multiple goals a night.
When the Aeros announced the return of forwards, Sebastian Heden and Kevin Lundin, at the start of the 2019-2020 season, the two front seats were assumed to be theirs. However, they did not see action over the latter half of the season giving first year Aeros, Niklas Froden, Mathew Rathbone, and Maverick Baxtrom a chance to shine.
Along with second year vet, Quentin Stempfel, the aforementioned first year players picked up the minutes left by Lundin and Heden. But the key was always in acquiring Froden from the El Paso Rhinos early in the season. It was apparent that Froden would shape up to be a crucial piece for Edson when he registered 16-points in his first six games after the trade.
Edson, again, was able to lay to rest any criticism regarding cross-division matchups this season. It went undefeated against the Northwest Division’s Seattle Totems and Bellingham Blazers during the Canada/U.S. Showdown. Furthermore, though Showcase can be considered a ‘season-slump’ for them, the Aeros worked out a 1-0 win over the rugged Utah Outliers to go 1-2 in Las Vegas.
The challenge remains for the Aeros in trying to defeat the El Paso Rhinos and Ogden Mustangs as both two-time Thorne Cup finalists always seem to get the best of Edson.
All in all, the Aeros finished 2019-2020 with the best win% (.936) of any team. With the season cut short, there is no telling what was in store for the Aeros who were hoping to reach the Thorne Cup Final after suffering a semi-final exit last year.
|50 Goals||39 Assists||89 Points|
|36 Goals||48 Assists||84 Points|
|27 Goals||39 Assists||66 Points|
|29 Goals||35 Assists||64 Points|
|21 Goals||33 Assists||54 Points|
|20W-2L||GAA 1.81||SV% .937|
|10W-0L||GAA 1.35||SV% .957|