(Photo by Manny Brizuela, WSHL)
The mantra of the team is to be distinguishable through success. The 2019-2020 season is by far an example of how far the Utah Outliers organization has consistently progressed over the years. This season was certainly an ‘Outlier,’ when comparing its history in retrospect. Though it wasn’t their highest finish standings-wise (2nd Northwest), the West Valley City side enjoyed its highest point total in team history after collecting 114-points—10 more than 2018-2019.
Although the Outliers haven’t any players among the Top-20 league scorers, it can roll its lines pretty seamlessly with depth scoring, and has a top-end goaltender in Oscar Wahlgren. Part of what the team does to maintain a consistent mindset and culture—which certainly translates well on the ice—is to engrain the Outlier way into its newcomers. In other words, the team doesn’t shape a new identity as players come and go each year, rather, the incoming talent must adhere to an already established philosophy.
(Photo by Bayleigh Schroeder, IceRinkPhotography)
With everybody buying in from the start, first year players in Andrei Shmakov, Nikita Andrusenko, Ben Doherty, and Jett Arminen led in scoring; but more importantly, circumvented the departure of a huge crop of elite players from last season. It’s no wonder they defended home-ice so well finishing with an impressive home record of 21-2-2, of those wins includes a victory over the Ogden Mustangs, snapping their 20-game win streak on a 4-3 win in late Nov.
Wahlgren made a home between the pipes this season as he saw roughly 2,070 minutes of action placing him second in minutes played among WSHL goaltenders—second most wins at 23-10-2. But he was the league-leader in shutouts with a total of 10 clean sheets. Wahlgren’s shutouts proved to be the story for Utah early on in the season after he secured four straight shutouts at the end of Oct. and into Nov.
Like their instate-rival, the Outliers were facing a new Northwest Division but they made sure to keep the state of Utah in good standing.
Of note, Brad McCloskey became the Outliers’ All-Time Leader in Games Played after he skated in his 130th regular season game. He surpassed Zach Dornseifer and finished with 162 regular season games played.
Due to COVID-19 and the outbreak that happened in the state of Washington, the Outliers, along with the Ogden Mustangs, were at the brink of a division finals rematch.
3. Ben Doherty
4. Jett Arminen
5. Jakub Lelek
Top -2 Goalies