For the defunct leagues of the same name, please see United States Hockey League (1945–1951) and United States Hockey League (1961-1979).

United States Hockey League
USHL Logo (2016)
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 1947
No. of teams 17
Country(ies) Flag of the United States United States
Most recent champion(s) Sioux Falls Stampede
Most championship(s) (overall) Waterloo Black Hawks (9)
(Clark Cup era) Omaha Lancers (7)
Official website

The United States Hockey League (USHL) is the top junior ice hockey league in the United States. The USHL has 14 member teams located in the midwestern United States, consisting of players who are 20 years of age and younger. The USHL is strictly amateur, allowing former USHL players to compete in NCAA college hockey. The league is based out of Chicago, IL

The Sioux Falls Stampede won the 2006-07 USHL championship in an expanded, 12-team playoff format. The league reverted to an 8-team divisional playoff format for the 2007-08 season.

The Indiana Ice won the 2008-09 Clark Cup championship, defeating the Fargo Force 3 games to 1 in the finals. The Ice defeated the Anderson Cup champion Green Bay Gamblers in the semi-finals.

The Green Bay Gamblers won the 2009-10 Clark Cup championship, defeating the Fargo Force 3 games to 2 in the finals. The Gamblers also won the Anderson Cup that season.


The league announced the addition of an expansion team based in Bloomington, IL, to be called the Bloomigton Thunder for the league's 2014-15 season. This team will probably replace the city's Southern Professional Hockey League team which has had difficulties in its one season in the league. The league had previously awarded and expansion team to Madison,Wisconsin to be called the Madison Capitols.

The President/Commissioner of the league, Bob Fallon stated in an interview with "The Pipeline Show" that the league was looking at the Indiana Ice returning for the 2016-17 season and the look was looking at the possibility of expanding by two teams for the 2017-18 season. He stated that the expansion would not be outside of the current footprint of the league. Putting an end to speculation that the league was looking to expand further east than Youngstown, Ohio. Specifically stating that Youngstown is the furthest eastern team within the league, and travel beyond that is not likely to happen.

The league is reported to be interested in placing a team in a new facility that is scheduled to begin construction in Coralville, Iowa late in 2016. The facility, with a working name of Iowa Sports Arena Project is planned to be completed in mid-2019. The facility is planned to also be the home of the Iowa Hawkeyes men's ice hockey program which is believed to be elevating to varsity status upon completion of the arena.

Another city on the league radar is Racine, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association are working on trying to find a location for their minor league affiliate and a proposal for a 3,800 seat arena in Racine has been mentioned. The owner of the Minnesota Wild, Craig Leipold has stated he would help bring a USHL team to Racine if the facility is built. The Bucks later chose to house their affiliate in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, Despite the decision the city was going forward with plans until on November 17, 2017 when the newly elected mayor, Cory Mason, vetoed the funding plans for the facility which was part of a ten year capital improvement plan for the city's downtown area.

Rochester, Minnesota also completed a survey on the potential of a new arena which could be home to both a USHL and a Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA affiliated NBA G-League team.[1]

On February 28, 2019 the ownership of the Central Illinois Flying Aces announced they would not be renewing the lease at the Grossinger Motors Arena and would be sitting out the 2019-20 season. The team stated it is evaluating opportunities to resume play for the 2020-21[2]

See also: List of USHL Seasons.


The USHL is the country's top junior hockey league, classified as Tier I. Like comparable entities such as the Canadian Hockey League (CHL)'s three member leagues, the USHL offers a schedule of high-level, competitive games for top players aged 16 to 20. Unlike the CHL, it does not pay a stipend to its players, who thus retain amateur status and are eligible to play in the NCAA.[3]

USHL teams, which are typically located in mid-sized cities (see map of team locations), pay for all uniforms and equipment. Players live with local families, who receive a small stipend for food expenses, and either continue school or work part-time jobs. Due to their schedules, more than 90% of games are on weekends, which many NHL and college scouts attend. Average attendance at regular season games for the 2014-15 season was 2,715 with 1,384,820 fans attending games during the season. [4]

One hockey analyst stated that the USHL's first line players are as good as their counterparts in the CHL—historically an important producer of NHL players—but that the Canadian league has better third and fourth lines. In 2006, Trevor Lewis, the 17th pick in the NHL Entry Draft, was the first USHL player to sign an NHL contract immediately after playing in the league.

At the conclusion of the 2014-15 regular season, the USHL has tallied 251 Alumni that have played in the NHL and has 347 current players with NCAA College Commitments.[5]


The USHL Draft is an annual event conducted in two “phases” during the second week of May.[6] The first phase is an eight round draft of U-17 players for the upcoming season. The second phase of the draft is open to all players eligible to play junior hockey who are not already protected by a USHL team. The number of players drafted varies, as each team will draft until they have filled the 45 spots available on their roster. Undrafted players are open to try out for any team as a try-out player. Each team must reduce their roster to 23 players for the start of the season, but may carry 18 additional players on an affiliate list.[7]

United States Hockey League (1961-1979)Edit

The United States Hockey League (USHL) operated as a senior ice hockey league 1961 to 1979.[8]

The USHL welcomed the first female professional hockey player in 1969-70, when the Marquette Iron Rangers signed Karen Koch.[9]

By the late 1970s, the USHL had fallen on hard times. In the summer of 1977, clubs from the recently folded Midwest Junior Hockey League contacted the USHL. A unique merger was formed, with the three junior teams (Bloomington Junior Stars, Austin Mavericks, St. Paul Vulcans) and three remaining pro teams (Sioux City Musketeers, Waterloo Black Hawks, Green Bay Bobcats) gathered under the USHL banner. League governors decided on a two-division format, with the junior-aged teams in the Midwest Division and the professionals in the U.S. Division. The teams played an interlocking schedule that was, predictably, dominated by the professionals. The USHL's split existence would last just two seasons. The minor-pro wing of the league folded following the 1978-79 season, providing junior hockey operators with the opportunity to redefine the circuit. The 1979-80 season was the league's first as an entirely junior arrangement.[10]

The league's last season as a senior hockey league was 1978-79. During this final season the league comprised seven teams in two conferences. The U.S. Conference (with the Green Bay Bobcats, the Sioux City Musketeers and the Waterloo Black Hawks); while the Midwest Conference (with the Anoka Nordiques, the Austin Mavericks, the Bloomington Junior Stars, and the St. Paul Vulcans. All seven teams were made up with players categorized as "Senior Amateur".[11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Following the 1978-79 season the senior league teams in the U.S. Conference folded and the USHL became an all-junior league the following season.[18]


Eastern Conference
Team Founded Arena City
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 1983 Cedar Rapids Ice Arena Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Chicago Steel 1996 Fox Valley Ice Arena Geneva, Illinois
Dubuque Fighting Saints 2010 Mystique Ice Center Dubuque, Iowa
Green Bay Gamblers 1994 Resch Center Green Bay, Wisconsin
Madison Capitols 2014 Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena Madison, Wisconsin
Muskegon Lumberjacks 2010 L. C. Walker Arena Muskegon, Michigan
USA Hockey National Team Development Program 1996 USA Hockey Arena Plymouth, Michigan
Youngstown Phantoms 2003 Covelli Centre Youngstown, Ohio
Western Conference
Team Founded Arena City
Des Moines Buccaneers 1980 Buccaneer Arena Urbandale, Iowa
Fargo Force 2008 Scheels Arena Fargo, North Dakota
Lincoln Stars 1996 Ice Box Lincoln, Nebraska
Omaha Lancers 1986 Ralston Arena Ralston, Nebraska
Sioux City Musketeers 1972 Gateway Arena Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux Falls Stampede 1999 Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Tri-City Storm 2000 Viaero Event Center Kearney, Nebraska
Waterloo Black Hawks 1962 Young Arena Waterloo, Iowa
Dormant Teams
Team Founded Arena City
Central Illinois Flying Aces 2014 Grossinger Motors Arena Bloomington, Illinois
Indiana Ice 2004 Lyceum Pavilion Indianapolis, Indiana

Past teamsEdit

Team City Years
Anoka Nordiques Anoka, Minnesota 1978–79 replaced by junior Hennepin Nordiques
Austin Mavericks Austin, Minnesota 1977–79 continue as jr team
Bloomington Junior Stars Bloomington, Minnesota 1977–79 become Jr. Stars
Calumet-Houghton Chiefs Calumet, Michigan 1972–73 become Copper-Country Islanders
Central Wisconsin Flyers Stevens Point, Wisconsin 1974–76 withdrew
Chicago Warriors Chicago, Illinois 1972–75 withdrew
Copper-Country Chiefs Calumet, Michigan 1974–76 withdrew
Copper-Country Islanders Calumet, Michigan 1973–74 become Copper-Country Chiefs
Des Moines Oak Leafs Urbandale, Iowa 1968–69 city has IHL team
Duluth Port Stars Duluth, Minnesota 1968–69 (Duluth dropped out of league on December 30, 1968)[19]
Fox Valley Astros Dundee, Illinois 1965–66 withdrew
Grand Rapids Blades Grand Rapids, Michigan 1976–77 folded
Grand Rapids Bruins Grand Rapids, Minnesota 1968–69 withdrew
Green Bay Bobcats Green Bay, Wisconsin 1961–79 folded
Madison Blues Madison, Wisconsin 1973–74 (transferred to Continental Hockey League)
Marquette Iron Rangers Marquette, Michigan 1964–76 withdrew
Milwaukee Admirals Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1973–77 (transferred to IHL)
Milwaukee Metros Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1961–62 (Milwaukee folded Jan 16, 1962, due to financial trouble)[20]
Minneapolis Rebels Minneapolis, Minnesota 1961–62 withdrew
Minnesota Nationals Saint Paul, Minnesota 1967–68 (U.S. 1968 Olympic team[21])
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota 1961–70 withdrew
Sault Ste. Marie Canadians Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario 1968–72
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario 1972–73
Sioux City Musketeers Sioux City, Iowa 1972–79 replaced by new junior franchise with same name
St. Paul Steers Saint Paul, Minnesota 1962–66
Thunder Bay Twins Thunder Bay, Ontario 1970–75 (transferred to OHA)
Traverse City Bays Traverse City, Michigan 1975–77
U.S. Nationals Saint Paul, Minnesota 1966–67
Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo, Iowa 1962–69, 1970–79

Defunct junior teamsEdit

Team City Years
Austin Mavericks Austin, Minnesota 1977–85 folded
Bloomington Jr. Stars Bloomington, Minnesota 1979-1984 become Minneapolis Stars
Danville Wings Danville, Illinois 2003–04 become Indiana Ice
Dubuque Fighting Saints Dubuque, Iowa 1980–2001 become Tulsa Crude
Fargo-Moorhead Bears Fargo, North Dakota 1995–96 folded
Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks Fargo, North Dakota 1996–2000 become Chicago Steel
Green Bay Bobcats Green Bay, Wisconsin 1958–81 folded
Hennepin Nordiques Minneapolis, Minnesota 1979–80 become Waterloo Black Hawks
Minneapolis Stars Minneapolis, Minnesota 1984–85 folded
North Iowa Huskies Mason City, Iowa 1983–99 become Cedar Rapids Roughriders
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets Columbus, Ohio 2006–08 ceased operations
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota 1985–2002 ceased operations
St. Louis Heartland Eagles Chesterfield, Missouri 2003–04 suspend operations then fold
Twin Cities/St. Paul Vulcans[22] St. Paul/Bloomington, Minnesota 1977–2000 become Tri-City Storm
Thunder Bay Flyers Thunder Bay, Ontario 1984–2000 ceased operations
Topeka ScareCrows Topeka, Kansas 2001–03 become St. Louis Heartland Eagles
Tulsa Crude Tulsa, Oklahoma 2001–02 ceased operations
Madison/Wisconsin Capitols Madison, Wisconsin 1984–95 folded

Timeline of junior league teamsEdit

  • 1979–80 The USHL becomes an all-junior league with seven teams in two divisions. North Division: Hennepin Nordiques, Bloomington Jr. Stars, Green Bay Bobcats, and St. Paul Vulcans. South Division: Austin Mavericks, Sioux City Musketeers, and Waterloo Black Hawks.
  • 1980–81 Des Moines Buccaneers enter the league. Waterloo Black Hawks move to Dubuque and become the Fighting Saints. Hennepin Nordiques move to Waterloo and become the Black Hawks. North Division: Austin, Bloomington, Green Bay, and St. Paul. South Division: Des Moines, Dubuque, Sioux City, and Waterloo.
  • 1981–82 Green Bay folds. The remaining seven teams merge into one division.
  • 1983–84 North Iowa Huskies enter league.
  • 1984–85 Madison Capitols and Thunder Bay Flyers enter league. Bloomington changes name to Minneapolis Stars.
  • 1985–86 Minneapolis folds. Austin relocates to Rochester and renamed Mustangs.
  • 1986–87 Omaha Lancers enter league.
  • 1991–92 Madison changes name to Wisconsin Capitols.
  • 1994–95 Green Bay Gamblers enter league.
  • 1995–96 Wisconsin folds. Fargo-Moorhead Bears enter league. St. Paul changes name to Twin Cities Vulcans.
  • 1996–97 Fargo-Moorhead Bears disband. Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks enter league. Lincoln Stars enter league. League returns to divisional play. North Division: Fargo-Moorhead, Green Bay, North Iowa, Rochester, Thunder Bay, Twin Cities. South Division: Des Moines, Dubuque, Lincoln, Omaha, Sioux City, Waterloo.
  • 1997–98 USA Hockey National Team Development Program plays 24-game schedule in the USHL.
  • 1998–99 USHL agrees to play full-season schedule with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program as part of a two-year agreement. League moves to three-division format. East Division: Dubuque, Green Bay, Team USA, and Waterloo. Central Division: Des Moines, North Iowa, Rochester, Thunder Bay, and Twin Cities. West Division: Fargo-Moorhead, Lincoln, Omaha, and Sioux City.
  • 1999-00 Sioux Falls Stampede enters league. North Iowa relocates to Cedar Rapids and renamed the RoughRiders. League moves to two-division format. West Division: Des Moines, Fargo-Moorhead, Lincoln, Omaha, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Twin Cities. East Division: Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Green Bay, Rochester, Thunder Bay, USA Development, Waterloo.
  • 2000–01 Thunder Bay ceases operations. Fargo-Moorhead moves to Bensenville, IL and becomes the Chicago Steel. Twin Cities relocates to Kearney, NE and is renamed the Tri-City Storm. Team USA plays 34-game league schedule.
  • 2001–02 Dubuque Fighting Saints relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma and become the Tulsa Crude. Topeka, KS gains an expansion team called the Topeka ScareCrows.
  • 2002–03 Rochester ceases operations. Tulsa ceases operations. Omaha relocates to Council Bluffs, Ia., and changes its name to the River City Lancers.
  • 2003–04 Danville Wings enter the league. Topeka moves to St. Louis and becomes the Heartland Eagles.
  • 2004–05 Danville moves to Indianapolis and becomes the Indiana Ice. St. Louis suspends operations.
  • 2005–06 River City Lancers change name back to Omaha Lancers.
  • 2006–07 Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets join the league after purchasing the membership of the former Thunder Bay Flyers.
  • 2007–08 Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets cease operations at the conclusion of the season.
  • 2008–09 Fargo Force join the league.
  • 2009–10 United States National Development Team (Team USA) rejoins league as fully competitive member. Youngstown Phantoms expansion team added. Omaha Lancers relocate back to Omaha, Ne.
  • 2010–11 Dubuque Fighting Saints rejoin league through expansion in the Western Division and Muskegon Lumberjacks join league as expansion team in the Eastern Division.
  • 2011–12 Division realignment with Dubuque moving to East and Waterloo moving to the West.
  • 2013 USHL announced on August 5 that the Madison Capitols from Madison, WI will rejoin the USHL as an expansion team for the 2014-15 season, playing in the Eastern Division.[23][24]
  • 2014 USHL announced on April 1 that an expansion franchise, the Bloomington Thunder, from Bloomington, IL. would start play in 2014-15, playing in the Eastern Division.[25]
  • 2014 USHL announces that the Indiana Ice granted "dormancy" status for the 2014-15 season while the team focuses on locating a permanent home facility in the Indianapolis area.[26] As of the start of the 2018-19 season the team remains in dormancy as the team continues to locate a permanent home facility.


Semi-Pro Season ChampionsEdit

Year Team
1961-62 Rochester Mustangs
1962-63 Green Bay Bobcats
1963-64 Waterloo Black Hawks
1964-65 Waterloo Black Hawks
1965-66 Waterloo Black Hawks
1966-67 Waterloo Black Hawks
1967-68 Waterloo Black Hawks
1968-69 Marquette Iron Rangers
1969-70 Marquette Iron Rangers
1970-71 Marquette Iron Rangers
1971-72 Green Bay Bobcats
1972-73 Thunder Bay Twins
1973-74 Thunder Bay Twins
1974-75 Waterloo Black Hawks
1975-76 Milwaukee Admirals
1976-77 Grand-Rapids Blades
1977-78 Waterloo Black Hawks
1978-79 Waterloo Black Hawks

Anderson Cup ChampionsEdit

Year Team
1979–80 Hennepin Nordiques
1980–81 Dubuque Fighting Saints
1981–82 Sioux City Musketeers
1982–83 Dubuque Fighting Saints
1983–84 St. Paul Vulcans
1984–85 Austin Mavericks
1985–86 Sioux City Musketeers
1986–87 Rochester Mustangs
1987–88 Thunder Bay Flyers
1988–89 Thunder Bay Flyers
1989–90 Omaha Lancers
1990–91 Thunder Bay Flyers
1991–92 Thunder Bay Flyers
1992–93 Omaha Lancers
1993–94 Des Moines Buccaneers
1994–95 Des Moines Buccaneers
1995–96 Green Bay Gamblers
1996–97 Green Bay Gamblers
1997–98 Des Moines Buccaneers
1998–99 Des Moines Buccaneers
1999-00 Lincoln Stars
2000–01 Lincoln Stars
2001–02 Omaha Lancers
2002–03 Lincoln Stars
2003–04 Tri-City Storm
2004–05 (tie)Cedar Rapids RoughRiders & Omaha Lancers
2005–06 Sioux Falls Stampede
2006–07 Waterloo Black Hawks
2007–08 Omaha Lancers
2008–09 Green Bay Gamblers
2009–10 Green Bay Gamblers
2010–11 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
2011–12 Green Bay Gamblers
2012–13 Dubuque Fighting Saints
2013–14 Waterloo Black Hawks
2014–15 Youngstown Phantoms
2015-16 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
2016-17 Sioux City Musketeers
2017-18 Waterloo Black Hawks
2018-19 Tri-City Storm

Clark Cup ChampionsEdit

Year Team
1979-80 Hennepin Nordiques
1980-81 Dubuque Fighting Saints
1981-82 Sioux City Musketeers
1982-83 Dubuque Fighting Saints
1983-84 St. Paul Vulcans
1984-85 Dubuque Fighting Saints
1985-86 Sioux City Musketeers
1986-87 Rochester Mustangs
1987-88 Thunder Bay Flyers
1988-89 Thunder Bay Flyers
1989-90 Omaha Lancers
1990-91 Omaha Lancers
1991-92 Des Moines Buccaneers
1992-93 Omaha Lancers
1993-94 Omaha Lancers
1994-95 Des Moines Buccaneers
1995-96 Green Bay Gamblers
1996-97 Lincoln Stars
1997-98 Omaha Lancers
1998-99 Des Moines Buccaneers
1999-00 Green Bay Gamblers
2000-01 Omaha Lancers
2001-02 Sioux City Musketeers
2002-03 Lincoln Stars
2003-04 Waterloo Black Hawks
2004-05 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
2005-06 Des Moines Buccaneers
2006-07 Sioux Falls Stampede
2007-08 Omaha Lancers
2008-09 Indiana Ice
2009-10 Green Bay Gamblers
2010-11 Dubuque Fighting Saints
2011-12 Green Bay Gamblers
2012-13 Dubuque Fighting Saints
2013-14 Indiana Ice
2014-15 Sioux Falls Stampede
2015-16 Tri-City Storm
2016-17 Chicago Steel
2017-18 Fargo Force
2018-19 Sioux Falls Stampede


Selections in the top three rounds of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft
Selections in the top three rounds of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft

League recordsEdit


  • Most points in a season – 98 by Green Bay Gamblers in 2011-12 and Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2012-13
  • Most wins in a season – 48 by Des Moines Buccaneers in 1998–99 season.
  • Most losses in a season – 48 by Omaha Lancers in 1986–87 season.
  • Longest winning streak - 19 by Des Moines Buccaneers between November 1, 1998 and January 6, 1999.


  • Most points in a season - 135 by Tim Ferguson of Sioux City Musketeers in 1985–86 season.
  • Most goals in a season – 67 by Rod Taylor of Sioux City Musketeers in 1985–86 season.
  • Most assists in a season - 79 by Tim Ferguson of Sioux City Musketeers in 1985–86 season.
  • Most PIMs in a season – 316 by Chad Stauffacher of Green Bay Gamblers in 1996–97 season.

See AlsoEdit

List of USHL Seasons


  3. Allen, Kevin. "Youngsters hoping to realize hockey dreams", USA Today, February 6, 2007. Retrieved on March 24, 2012. 
  4. .
  5. | date=April 11,2015 | Access Date=April 12,2015
  19. 1968–69 United States Hockey League [USHL] standings at. Retrieved on October 17, 2011.
  20. 1961–62 United States Hockey League [USHL] standings at. (January 16, 1962). Retrieved on October 17, 2011.
  22. St Paul Vulcans Hockey History. Retrieved on October 17, 2011.
  • USHL 2006-07 Media Guide

External linksEdit

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