Getting Geeked for Some Rhinos Hockey, Z-Force Style [VIDEO]
Over the next two weekends, our sister station, 600 ESPN El Paso, will be bringing you a handful of El Paso Rhinos hockey road games. So to whet your appetite, here’s a sampling of some of Paul Zimmerman’s Rhinos Hockey video yearbook.
He’s no picture on a milk carton, just out of TV these days; but that hasn’t stopped Zimmerman, one of El Paso’s premier videographers, from strutting his stuff.
Maybe you remember Paul’s “Wild Wednesday” reports for NewsChannel 9 sports — some of the sickest, slickest, network-quality video production around, usually starring Paul trying some X-Games-style sport, including the gnarly wipeout scenes. These over-the-top features earned Zimmerman the nickname “Z-Force”.
If you know Paul — and we’re happy to say we do — you also know Paul loves hockey. One of the staples of the old El Paso Buzzard’s heydey in the late 1990’s was Paul’s video yearbook at the end of each season.
When Rhinos’ head coach Cory Herman came calling, looking for someone to produce video for his team, Zimmerman was more than happy to oblige.
And what about the El Paso Rhinos? How in the world did El Paso wind up with a junior hockey team?
The Buzzards are long gone these days, but a number of players stayed, including Herman. With brothers Tom and Dave, and former Montreal Canadien’s old-timer Murray Bates as coaches — along with a whole host of hockey-loving El Pasoans — Herman has resurrected the sport from the ground up with his El Paso Rhinos junior hockey program, capped off by the Junior A Tier III-level Rhinos of the Western States Hockey League.
Traveling youth club teams and private lessons have hooked lots of youngsters on the sport, and though the focus is on El Paso, the team isn’t made exclusively of local kids. The Rhinos Midget-AAA team had a player from Sweden on the roster this season.
As far as junior hockey goes, the El Paso Rhinos’ organization is the cream of the crop. From solid fan support and a great atmosphere (their rink has a beer bar that goes right up to the glass!) to the behind-the-scenes stuff, Herman’s goal is making it as good for the fans as it is for his players.
Another goal was to have an El Pasoan on the active roster. Mike Rivera returned to his hometown after playing club-level college hockey in Arizona in the middle of last season. This season, Rivera is not only the team captain, as voted by his teammates, he is the Rhinos leading scorer.
For tickets and information, contact the El Paso Rhinos offices at 915/479.PUCK (7825), or to www.elpasorhinos.com.