Saturday, July 11, 2009

USHL Schedule is Released

Press Release

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced today the schedule for the 2009-10 regular season. The League expands to 14 Member Clubs this season, aligned in two divisions of seven with each team playing a total of 60 games (30 home, 30 road). A balanced schedule will have all teams hosting each of the remaining Clubs a minimum of two games.

The United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) and the Youngstown Phantoms join the growing USHL for the 2009-10 season. Both teams will compete in the East Division along with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Chicago Steel, Green Bay Gamblers, Indiana Ice, and Waterloo Black Hawks. Because of re-alignment, the Des Moines Buccaneers join the seven-team West Division after competing last season in the East. Joining Des Moines will be the Fargo Force, Lincoln Stars, Omaha Lancers, Sioux City Musketeers, Sioux Falls Stampede, and Tri-City Storm.

The USNTDP, USA Hockey's Ann Arbor-based program of 46 select 17 and 18-year-olds, will field "Team USA" with a varying roster based upon the program's international and collegiate schedule. Youngstown's new Tier I USHL entry will transfer the well-known "Phantoms" name and logo (also the logo of world-famous Phantoms Fireworks) used last season by the NAHL's Mahoning Valley team, and play its home games in Youngstown's Covelli Centre (formerly the Chevrolet Centre).

The 2009-10 season launches on Thursday, October 1st when the Sioux City Musketeers host the Lincoln Stars at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The remaining 12 Clubs will take the ice during the opening weekend of the League's 31st season on October 2-3. The final day of the regular season will be on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 as all 14 USHL teams will be in action. Following its commitment to education and off-ice development, the USHL will play nearly 90% of its games during the 2009-10 season on weekend or holiday dates in order to preserve its scholar-athletes' academic schedules.

The defending Clark Cup champion Indiana Ice will be begin their title defense on the road October 3rd as they visit the Youngstown Phantoms at the Covelli Centre. A weekend doubleheader on November 13th and 14th marks a rematch of the 2009 Clark Cup Finals when the Fargo Force visit the Indiana Ice. The League continues its tradition of New Year's Eve matchups as well, as a full slate of seven games will be played to wrap up the 2009 portion of the schedule.

The top four teams in each division at the completion of the 420-game regular season schedule will qualify for the Clark Cup Playoffs. The first possible day for the start of the Clark Cup Playoffs will be April 7th, 2010.

Click here for the 2009-10 USHL schedule. All dates and times are subject to change.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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