Each team to play 60-game season as puck drops on September 20th
Chicago, IL – The United States Hockey League today announced the game schedule for the 2013-14 season. Each of the 16 USHL Member Clubs will play a 60-game schedule that commences on Friday, September 20th, 2013 and concludes on Saturday, April 5th, 2014.
The 16 teams are broken up evenly into two conferences – Eastern and Western – and the schedule features matchups that promote both geographic rivalries and inter-conference competition while effectively managing team travel demands.
2012-13 USHL Conference Alignment
Western Conference Eastern Conference
Des Moines Buccaneers Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Fargo Force Chicago Steel
Lincoln Stars Dubuque Fighting Saints
Omaha Lancers Green Bay Gamblers
Sioux City Musketeers Indiana Ice
Sioux Falls Stampede Muskegon Lumberjacks
Tri-City Storm Team USA
Waterloo Black Hawks Youngstown Phantoms
A total of eight games will be played during the opening weekend of the 2013-14 season with 11 teams hitting the ice. The Fargo Force begin the campaign hosting the Sioux City Musketeers in a Western Conference matchup on September 20th, which also marks the USHL coaching debut for Jay Varady with the Musketeers. A pair of Eastern Conference matchups take place that same evening – the Chicago Steel hosting the Green Bay Gamblers and Team USA welcoming the Youngstown Phantoms.
The following evening will see another coach step behind the bench for the first time in the USHL regular season as newly-appointed head coach Todd Krygier takes the Muskegon Lumberjacks on the road to face the Green Bay Gamblers.
The 2013 Clark Cup champion Dubuque Fighting Saints begin their title defense on Friday, September 27th as they visit the rival Waterloo Black Hawks. It will also be the regular season debut for new Saints head coach Matt Shaw as his first game is against Waterloo’s P.K. O’Handley, the all-time leader in games coached in the USHL (1,012). The Omaha Lancers have a new man in charge for their opener on September 27th as they begin their second season in the brand new Ralston Arena. Brian Kaufman, who spent last season as assistant coach, takes over as head coach for the 2013-14 campaign.
In keeping with its commitment to education for USHL student-athletes and minimizing missed time in the classroom, 93% of the 480 games on the 2013-14 schedule are being played on a weekend or holiday date, including traditional matchups the night before Thanksgiving and on New Year’s Eve. This scheduling effort helps players balance the on and off-ice demands of the USHL season while also providing fan-friendly opportunities to watch USA Hockey’s only Tier 1 junior league.
The 60-game schedule for each team returns to the format used by the League since being designated as Tier 1 in 2002. Last season, each team played 64 regular season contests, but the reduction back to 60 games eliminated some difficult travel issues associated with scheduling and limited the number of weekday matchups.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the top four teams in each conference based on points in the standings will qualify for the Clark Cup Playoffs. All three rounds in the postseason will follow a best-of-five games format, similar to last season’s playoff format.
2013-14 USHL Home Openers
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders – Saturday, September 28th vs. Sioux Falls
Chicago Steel – Friday, September 20th vs. Green Bay
Des Moines Buccaneers – Saturday, September 21st vs. Sioux Falls
Dubuque Fighting Saints – Saturday, September 28th vs. Sioux City
Fargo Force – Friday, September 20th vs. Sioux City
Green Bay Gamblers – Saturday, September 21st vs. Muskegon
Indiana Ice – Friday, September 27th vs. Sioux Falls
Lincoln Stars – Friday, September 27th vs. Cedar Rapids
Muskegon Lumberjacks – Saturday, September 28th vs. Indiana
Omaha Lancers – Friday, September 27th vs. Fargo
Sioux City Musketeers – Saturday, October 5th vs. Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls Stampede – Friday, October 4th vs. Omaha
Tri-City Storm – Saturday, September 28th vs. Lincoln
Team USA – Friday, September 20th vs. Youngstown
Waterloo Black Hawks – Friday, September 27th vs. Dubuque
Youngstown Phantoms – Friday, September 27th vs. Green Bay
*Dates and times are subject to change.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL now prepares to enter its 12th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. With 19 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 300 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this past season, the USHL has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).