Flashback Story – October, 2002  – 15 Seasons Ago

By Lee Samuels

The first AAA level team in Las Vegas was a great one. After the AA Las Vegas Mustangs, coached by Rob Pallin, advanced and played in the U.S. Nationals he constructed another top team at the Santa Fe Stations Ice Arena on North Rancho Drive.

In 2002-03 hometown players like Adam Naglich, Chris Anderson, Sean Darby and Justin Grossman had graduated. Naglich was recruited and signed by the BCHL Victoria Salsa. 

Pallin inked two players from the Utah Stars – Nate Rein and Scott Chisholm and added Cody Morin, a giant goal scorer from the Phoenix Firebirds. 

Las Vegas got off to a 14-2-1 start was ranked #19 nationally by Midgetaaa.com – the first Las Vegas hockey team ever to be ranked.

Evan Zucker, an older brother of Jason, was a big player on this club. Evan was a top goal scorer in ice hockey and roller hockey. Cody Fulwiler, now a referee, and Zach Whisman were the goalies.

The big teams that season were the AAA L.A. Jr Kings, AAA San Diego Jr Gulls coached by Rob Neumann, the Konstantine Lodina-coached AAA Long Beach Stars and the AAA Alaska All-Stars. These were all outstanding high-powered teams.

On this very week 15 seasons ago the AAA Las Vegas Outlaws were heading to the 24-team Chicago Chill Autumn Tournament. The first game was against the AAA Buffalo Saints, 13-3-1 and ranked #6 in the nation.

The AAA Outlaws were one of coach Rob Pallin’s great hockey teams – but he wasn’t done putting together great teams in Las Vegas. 

The AAA Las Vegas Outlaws 2002-03 Roster

#2 Evan Zucker, #4 Josh Shiode, #5 Justin Johnson, #6 David Lewandowski, #7 Scott Chisholm, #8 Nate Rein, #9 Eddie Samuels, #10 Cody Morin, #11 JC Caron, #12 Eric Bowman, #16 Josh Jasek, #17 Travis Roseberry, #18 Spike Neely, #24 T.J. Craig, #27 Alex Redmond, #30 Zach Whisman, #31 Cody Fulwiler, #79 Jeff Hajner, #83 Eddie Del Grosso

Vegas Hockey’s AAA Top 10 West Rankings – October, 2002

#1 Alaska All-Stars, #2 Dallas Jr Stars, #3 San Diego Jr Gulls, #4 Las Vegas Outlaws, #5 Long Beach Stars, #6 L.A. Jr Kings 16u; #7 L.A. Jr Kings; #8 Pikes Peak Miners, #9 Littleton Hawks; #10 Cal Cougars #11 San Jose Jr Sharks; #12 Washington Totems