Apr 12, 2013 8:50 PM by Derek Buerkle - KPAX Sports
MISSOULA - The Missoula Maulers are changing leagues once again, with the junior hockey club heading to the Western States Hockey League next season.
The Maulers will become the 23rd team in a league that stretches from California, to Texas to Washington, and now to Montana. The Maulers moved from the NORPAC to the newly formed AWHL just two years ago. But they felt this opportunity was too good to pass up.
"The exposure is the most important part for the players. And we feel the league is, the Western States League is a good stepping stone for these guys as far as moving them on in their career. Our intentions walking into this is that it's a better league. And we're excited for better competition." said Marcus Baxter, Maulers head coach.
The WSHL has more than twice the teams of the AWHL and they allow up to eight non-U.S. players on each roster, instead of two the Maulers had in the past. Missoula's new season will still run from September to March, and they will play about the same amount of games.
The distance travelled will become much longer, but Baxter says because of the three-game series they will play every week, the Maulers will actually take fewer road trips in their new league.