El Paso And Non-Traditional Hockey Markets Shine As Stars Beat Coyotes, 6-3

The 2020 USA Kraft Hockeyville game took place in the NAHL El Paso Rhinos’ barn in the desert.

The Dallas Stars got their first regulation win of the preseason with a 6-3 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes. Ty Dellandrea, Radek Faksa, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, and Tyler Seguin all scored in the win for the Stars.

Read on for more winners and losers from tonight.


El Paso will always have a weird place in my heart. It was the city my dad moved me to my senior year of high school. It was the place where I was pulled over for passing in a school zone and got a lesson from a police officer that the definition of passing I learned in driving school in east Texas was actually called “overtaking”. It was where I first told my dad I wasn’t going to be home by the midnight curfew I had because I had turned 18 and I could do what I want.

It’s also where my step-mom and step-sister grew up, and subsequently the place where I learned about the community of El Paso. The border town is pretty tight-knit, and supports its teams passionately. El Pasoans love big, and they love loud. And their support of hockey is no different here.

The upgrades to the hockey rink that’s literally in a barn that serves as the home of the NAHL El Paso Rhinos will only help to further hockey in another non-traditional market. It’s something that this sport desperately needs more of.


It’s preseason, and the league that touts how “Hockey is For Everyone” and wanting to grow the game couldn’t even be bothered to put this game on NHL Network? Feels like a major missed opportunity to do those very things.


I thought that the usual Stars in-studio analysts did a good job calling the game tonight. Rea’s experience in the minor leagues in western Texas gave some interesting perspective to hosting the game in El Paso that was genuine and didn’t come across as patronizing, which it could easily have done with someone different.


I’m not sure we’re any closer to determining which two goaltenders will start the season with the Dallas squad this season. Neither Jake Oettinger or Antoin Khudobin looked particularly better than the other in their full games, and Braden Holtby’s audition so far has been limited to two periods. Hopefully with three more exhibition games, things start to come more into focus as far as what the Stars will be doing in net.


The Stars and Coyotes played in a shootout, exchanging goals throughout the game. Goals are what gets people excited. Goals are how games are won. Basically, the Stars should do more of that every game.


Somehow this was not called: Michael Raffl looks to be hit in the head on a blindside hit from a player that leaves his feet and launches himself into the hit. Wouldn’t expect the league does anything about it, but that’s just because they can’t seem to figure out what they want to be a bad head hit and what isn’t.

After missing some shifts getting evaluated after the hit, Raffl did return to the game for the Stars. The referees started to lose the game a little bit, leading to an Alexander Radulov fight and an Alexander Petrovic fight later in the period.


Tyler Seguin connected to give the Stars a power play goal, making the score 5-3. It was the result of the Stars continuing to look for offense after they took the lead in the third period. Head coach Rick Bowness will definitely prefer this effort over the team’s last home game in which he said the team essentially quit playing and ended up with a shootout loss for their effort.


Woof, the PK needs some work. They allowed two goals on four shots when shorthanded. That’s most definitely not going to do it in the regular season.


Ty Dellandrea and Jacob Peterson both had strong games. Dellandrea’s goal was a slick shot that hit the far side of the net on a bit of a fake-out of the Arizona goaltender. Peterson had some nice moves in the team’s shootout practice after the game to score after Radek Faksa, giving the team a bit of a second win tonight in that regard.