The United States Hockey League (USHL) is the top junior ice hockey league in America. The USHL has 17 member teams located in the Midwestern part of the country. The league is strictly amateur with players that are 20 years of age or younger. Many USHL college-age players have also played in NCAA College hockey tournaments. USHL teams vie for the Clark Cup Championship, which was won by the Chicago Steel in the 2016-17 season. The Steel defeated the Western Conference Champions, Sioux City Musketeers three games to two to clinch the league title. The Musketeers, however, did win the Anderson Cup as the 2017 regular season champions, making it the third in franchise history.
The USHL was founded in 1947 and its current CEO is Bob Fallen. The Omaha Lancers have the most league championships with seven. However, this is only applicable for the Clark Cup era. Overall, the most league championships go to the Waterloo Black Hawks, which have nine. Here is a full list of all teams that will compete in the upcoming 2017-18 season:
The Indiana Ice is also a member of the USHL but is currently in dormant status. The club is focusing on developing a new facility and permanent home for the team.
The official regular season of the USHL begins on October 6, 2017, and concludes on April 14, 2017. The new season will feature 60 exciting games spanning 27 weeks. The USHL Board of Governors will continue to evaluate the regular season and post-season schedule formats. Any changes to scheduling or games will be updated at the USHL website at www.ushl.com.
With the 2017-18 season, 12 teams will advance to the Clark Cup Playoffs. The top two seeds within each Conference will receive first-round byes. The first round will also feature a best-of-three series hosted by the #3 and #4 seeds in each conference versus the #5 and #6 seeds. The remaining rounds of the Clark Cup Playoffs will be determined by a best-of-five series, with home-ice advantage going to the higher seed. For more information on the new season and opening games, simply visit the website link listed above.