Ice Hockey Wiki

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).gif
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

logo prior to 2016

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.[1]

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. [2]

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.[3]


The USHL Draft is an annual event conducted in two “phases” during the second week of May.[4] 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.[5]

United States Hockey League (1961-1979)

The United States Hockey League (USHL) operated as a senior ice hockey league 1961 to 1979.[6]

The USHL welcomed the first female professional hockey player in 1969-70, when the Marquette Iron Rangers signed Karen Koch.[7]

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.[8]

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".[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] 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.[16]


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

Team Timeline

Team Centre Arena Seasons Fate
Austin Mavericks Austin, Minnesota Riverside Arena 1979-1985 relocated to Rochester, Minnesota; renamed Rochester Mustangs (junior)
Bloomington Junior Stars Bloomington, Minnesota Bloomington Ice Garden 1979-1984 renamed Minneapolis Stars
Green Bay Bobcats Green Bay, Wisconsin Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena 1979-1981 fold
Hennepin Nordiques New Hope, Minnesota New Hope Ice Arena 1979-1980 relocated to Waterloo, Iowa; renamed Waterloo Black Hawks
St. Paul Vulcans St. Paul, Minnesota Augsburg Ice Arena 1979-1995 renamed Twin City Vulcans
Sioux City Musketeers Sioux City, Iowa Sioux City Municipal Auditorium (1979-2003) Fleet Farm Arena (2003-present) (known as Gateway Arena 2003-2019) 1979-present
Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo, Iowa McElroy Auditorium 1979-1980 relocated to Dubuque, Iowa; renamed Dubuque Fighting Saints (1980-2001)
Des Moines Buccaneers Urbandale, Iowa Buccaneer Arena 1980-present
Dubuque Fighting Saints (1980-2001) Dubuque, Iowa Five Flags Arena 1980-2001 relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, renamed Tulsa Crude
Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo, Iowa McElroy Auditorium (1980-1994) Young Arena (1994-present) 1980-present
North Iowa Huskies Mason City, Iowa North Iowa Ice Arena 1983-1999 relocated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa; renamed Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Madison Capitols (1984-1995) Madison, Wisconsin Hartmeyer Ice Arena 1984-1991 renamed Wisconsin Capitols
Minneapolis Stars Minneapolis, Minnesota Bloomington Ice Garden 1984-1985 folded
Thunder Bay Flyers Thunder Bay, Ontario Fort William Gardens 1984-2000 fold
Rochester Mustangs (junior) Rochester, Minnesota Rochester Recreation Center 1985-2002 fold
Omaha Lancers Omaha, Nebraska Omaha Civic Auditorium 1986-2002 renamed River City Lancers when relocated to Council Bluffs, Iowa
Wisconsin Capitols Madison, Wisconsin Hartmeyer Ice Arena 1991-1995
Green Bay Gamblers Green Bay, Wisconsin Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena (1994-2002), Resch Center (2002-present 1994-present
Fargo-Moorhead Bears Moorhead, Minnesota Moorhead Sports Center 1995-1996 fold
Twin City Vulcans Bloomington, Minnesota Bloomington Ice Garden 1995-2000 relocated to Kearney, Nebraska; renamed
Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks Fargo, North Dakota John E. Carlson Coliseum 1996-2000
Lincoln Stars Lincoln, Nebraska Ice Box (arena) 1996-present
USA Hockey National Team Development Program Ann Arbor, Michigan Ann Arbor Ice Cube 1997-2002 withdrew to play in North American Hockey League
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Cedar Rapids, Iowa Cedar Rapids Ice Arena 1999-present
Sioux Falls Stampede Sioux Falls, South Dakota Denny Sanford PREMIER Center 1999-present
Chicago Steel Bensenville, Illinois Edge Ice Arena 2000-2015 relocated to Geneva, Illinois with no name change
Tri-City Storm Kearney, Nebraska Viaero Event Center (known as Tri-City Arena 2000–200?
Kearney Event Center 200?–200?
FirsTier Event Center 200?–2009)
Topeka Scarecrows Topeka Scarecrows Landon Arena 2001-2003 relocated to Chesterfield, Missouri'; renamed St. Louis Heartland Eagles
Tulsa Crude Tulsa, Oklahoma Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion 2001-2002 fold
River City Lancers Council Bluffs, Iowa Mid-America Center 2002-2004 revert to Omaha Lancers name
Danville Wings Danville, Illinois David S. Palmer Arena 2003-2004 relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana; renamed Indiana Ice
St. Louis Heartland Eagles Chesterfield, Missouri The Summit Center 2003-2004 suspend operations for 2004-05; fold after being unable to find a new arena in St. Louis area
Indiana Ice Indianapolis, Indiana Indiana Farmers Coliseum (2004-2012), Pan American Arena (2012-2014) and Bankers Life Fieldhouse 2004-2014 suspend operations pendiing construction of new arena; still waiting as of 2019-20 season
Omaha Lancers Council Bluffs, Iowa Mid-America Center 2004-2009 fold
Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets Columbus, Ohio Nationwide Arena 2006-2008 suspend operations; fold when unable to find suitable arena
Fargo Force Fargo, North Dakota Scheels Arena (known as Urban Plains Center 2008-2010) 2008-present
Youngstown Phantoms Youngstown, Ohio Covelli Centre 2009-present
USA Hockey National Team Development Program Ann Arbor, Michigan (2009-2015) Plymouth, Michigan (2015-present) Ann Arbor Ice Cube (2009-2015) USA Hockey Arena (2015-presnt) 2009-present
Dubuque Fighting Saints (2010) Dubuque, Iowa Mystique Ice Center 2010-present
Muskegon Lumberjacks (2010–) Muskegon, Michigan L.C. Walker Arena 2010-present
Bloomington Thunder (USHL) Bloomington, Illinois U.S. Cellular Coliseum 2014-2017 renamed Central Illinois Flying Aces
Madison Capitols (2014) Madison, Wisconsin (2014-2017), Middleton, Wisconsin (2017-present) Alliant Energy Center (2014-2017) Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena (2017-present) 2014-present
Chicago Steel Geneva, Illinois Fox Valley Ice Arena 2015-present
Central Illinois Flying Aces Bloomington, Illinois Grossinger Motors Arena 2017-2019 suspend operations

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Semi-Pro Season Champions

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 Champions

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
2019-20 Chicago Steel
2020-21 Chicago Steel

Clark Cup Champions

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
2019-20 Playoffs cancelled
2020-21 Chicago Steel


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 records


  • 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 Also

List of USHL Seasons


  • USHL 2006-07 Media Guide

External links