TULSA, OK - Junior hockey is making a comeback in Tulsa.
The Tulsa Oilers announced today the arrival of the Junior Oilers, a new franchise in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) which will begin play in the 2012-13 season.
The Oilers Ice Center partnered with Mike and Robyn Messer, long-time supporters of Tulsa hockey, to lay the foundation for the new team.
"It's exciting to be a part of this process and see this level of hockey returning to Tulsa," said Mike Messer. "We look forward to many successful years of Junior Oilers hockey."
The WSHL is a Junior "A" league with players ranging from 16-20 years of age. Junior Oilers players will live with host families during the season which runs from mid-September through early March.
"We are thrilled to bring junior hockey back to Tulsa," said Oilers General Manager Taylor Hall. "This city already has a rich hockey tradition, a loyal base of fans that love and understand the game, and we couldn't be more excited to start a new chapter with the Junior Oilers."
The Junior Oilers will play their home games at the Oilers Ice Center (64th and Mingo) and will compete against teams from Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico.
"The WSHL is pleased to return to the great city of Tulsa and the Oilers Ice Center for the 2012-2013 season," said WSHL Commissioner Ron White. "The Oilers Ice Center is a great venue for WSHL action and our teams are excited to return. We are extremely pleased the Tulsa Oilers CHL team has partnered with the WSHL to develop Junior A hockey in Oklahoma. Their confidence in the WSHL is much appreciated."
"Hockey fans in this area are going to see some of the best young talent in the country," Hall said. "Tulsa is going to be a great place for these players to take the next step in their hockey development and I know our fantastic Oilers fans are going to support these kids every step of the way."
The search is underway for the first Junior Oilers head coach. The team expects to make a coaching announcement in the coming weeks.
All media inquiries should be directed to Rob Loeber at the Tulsa Oilers office at 918-632-7825 or firstname.lastname@example.org.