The United States Hockey League was a semi-pro.senior in the midwestern United States and central Canada from 1961 to 1979. When the Midwest Junior Hockey League collapsed prior to the 1977-78 season three junior teams were absorbed into the league. The junior and professional teams were divided into their own divisions but played against each otehr in regular season games. Starting in 1979-80, the United States Hockey League has been strictly a junior league when the three remaining professional teams became junior teams.

History[edit | edit source]

The American Amateur Hockey League was established in 1947 as the Minnesota-based American Amateur Hockey League with teams in Minneapolis, Rochester and St. Paul. Since its debut, the league had progressed and changed its name several times: In 1952, it became the Central Hockey League; then the next season it became the Minnesota Hockey League; and in 1956 the name was changed again to the Central Hockey League. In 1961, it adopted the name United States Hockey League (USHL). Precursors to this league were:

American Amateur Hockey League (1947-1952)[edit | edit source]

Teams[edit | edit source]

Team name City Arena Seasons Fate
Minneapolis Bermans Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1947-1950 consolidated into Twin City Fords
Minneapolis Jerseys Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1947-1951 replaced by Minneapolis Millers
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Civic Auditorium 1947-1952 join CHL
St. Paul 7-Up St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1947-1950 consolidated into St. Paul 7-Up Koppys
St. Paul Koppys St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1947-1950 consolidated into St. Paul 7-Up Koppys
St. Paul Tallys St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1947-1948 withdrew
St. Paul 7-Up Koppys St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1950-1951 replaced by St. Paul Saints
Twin City Fords Minneapolis, Minnesota/St. Paul, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena/St. Paul Auditorium 1950-1951 replaced by Minneapolis Millers
Eveleth Rangers Eveleth, Minnesota Eveleth Hippodrome 1951-1952 join CHL as Eveleth-Virginia Rangers
Hibbing Flyers Hibbing, Minnesota Hibbing Memorial Building Arena 1951-1952 join CHL
Minneapolis Millers Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1951-1952 join CHL
St. Paul Saints St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1951-1952 join CHL
Sioux City Sunhawks Sioux City, Iowa Sioux City Municipal Auditorium 1951-1952 folded

Central Hockey League (1952-1953)[edit | edit source]

Teams[edit | edit source]

Team name City Arena Seasons Fate
Eveleth-Virginia Rangers Eveleth, Minnesota & Virginia, Minnesota Eveleth Hippodrome 1952-1953 withdrew
Hibbing Flyers Hibbing, Minnesota Hibbing Memorial Building Arena 1952-1953 join MHL
Minneapolis Millers Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1952-1953 withdrew
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Civic Auditorium 1952-1953 join MHL
St. Paul Saints St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1952-1953 withdrew

Minnesota Hockey League (1953-55)[edit | edit source]

Teams[edit | edit source]

Team name City Arena Seasons Fate
Grand Forks Redwings Grand Forks, North Dakota Winter Sports Building 1953-1954 withdrew
Hibbing Flyers Hibbing, Minnesota Hibbing Memorial Building Arena 1953-1954 withdrew
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Civic Auditorium 1953-1955 join CHL
Minneapolis Bungalows Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1954-1955 join CHL
Minneapolis Culbertsons Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1954-1955 join CHL
St. Paul Saints St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1954-1955 join CHL as St. Paul Peters

United States Central Hockey League (1955-61)[edit | edit source]

Teams[edit | edit source]

Team name City Arena Seasons Fate
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Civic Auditorium 1955-1961 join United States Hockey League
Minneapolis Bungalows Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1955-1958 replaced or renamed by Minneapolis Millers
Minneapolis Culbertsons Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1955-1958 renamed Minneapolis-Lincoln Culbertsons when also play games in Lincoln, Nebraska
St. Paul Peters St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1955-1957 possibly renamed St. Paul K.S.T.P.
St. Paul K.S.T.P. St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1957-1958 possibly renamed St. Paul Capitols
Des Moines Ice Hawks Des Moines, Iowa Des Moines City Auditorium 1958-1961

join United States Hockey League as Des Moines Oak Leafs

Minneapolis Millers Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1958-1960 join International Hockey League (1945-2001)
Minneapolis-Lincoln Culbertsons Minneapolis, Minnesota & Lincoln, Nebraska Minneapolis Arena & Pershing Auditorium 1958-1959 withdrew when Millers join International Hockey League (1945-2001)
St. Paul Capitols St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1958-1959 join International Hockey League (1945-2001) as St. Paul Saints
Green Bay Bobcats Green Bay, Wisconsin Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena 1959-1960 sit out 1960-61 season; return for 1961-62 season in United States Hockey League
 Marquette Sentinals Marquette, Michigan Palestra 1959-1960 withdrew
Minneapolis Jr. Millers Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis Arena 1960-1961 withdrew
St. Paul Jr. Saints St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1960-1961 withdrew

United States Hockey League (1961-1979)[edit | edit source]

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

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.

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". 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.

Teams (1961-1979)[edit | edit source]

Team name City Arena Seasons Fate
Des Moines Oak Leafs Urbandale, Iowa Des Moines Ice Arena 1961-1963 join International Hockey League
Green Bay Bobcats Green Bay, Wisconsin Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena 1961-1979 stay with league when continues as a junior level league
Milwaukee Metros Milwaukee, Wisconsin Milwaukee Arena 1961-1962 (Milwaukee folded Jan 16, 1962 due to financial trouble)
Minneapolis Rebels Minneapolis, Minnesota Road team 1961-1962 folded
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Civic Auditorium 1961-1970 folded
St. Paul Steers Saint Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1962-1966 folded replaced by U.S. Nationals
Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo, Iowa McElroy Auditorium 1962-1969 join Central Hockey League (1963-1984) as Iowa Stars
Marquette Iron Rangers Marquette, Michigan Palestra (Michigan) 1964-1976 folded
Fox Valley Astros Dundee, Illinois 1965-1966 withdrew
U.S. Nationals Saint Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1966-1967 replaced by Minnesota Nationals
Minnesota Nationals Saint Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Auditorium 1967-1968 (U.S. 1968 Olympic team)
Duluth Port Stars Duluth, Minnesota Duluth Entertainment Center 1968-1968 dropped out of league on December 30, 1968, replaced by Grand Rapids Bruins
Grand Rapids Bruins Grand Rapids, Minnesota IRA Civic Arena 1968-1969 withdrew
Sault Ste. Marie Canadians Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sault Memorial Gardens 1968-1972 renamed Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Thunder Bay Twins Thunder Bay, Ontario Fort William Gardens 1970-1975 join OHA Senior A Hockey League
Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo, Iowa McElroy Auditorium 1970-1979 stay with league when continues as a junior level league
Calumet-Houghton Chiefs Calumet, Michigan Calumet Armory 1972-1973 renamed Copper Country Islanders
Chicago Warriors Chicago, Illinois 1972-1975 folded
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sault Memorial Gardens 1972-1973 folded
Sioux City Musketeers Sioux City, Iowa Sioux City Municipal Auditorium 1972-1979 stay with league when continues as a junior level league
Copper Country Islanders Calumet, Michigan Calumet Armory 1973-1974 renamed Copper Country Chiefs
Madison Blues Madison, Wisconsin Hartmeyer Ice Arena 1973-1974 transferred to Continental Hockey League
Milwaukee Admirals Milwaukee, Wisconsin Milwaukee Arena 1973-1977 transferred to International Hockey League (1945-2001)
Copper-Country Chiefs Calumet, Michigan Calumet Armory 1974-1976 folded
Central Wisconsin Flyers Stevens Point, Wisconsin 1974-1976 folded
Traverse City Bays Traverse City, Michigan Glacier Dome 1975-1977 folded
Grand Rapids Blades Grand Rapids, Michigan Stadium Arena 1976-1977 folded; city get Grand Rapids Owls  on December 15, 1977 when the IHL's Dayton Owls relocate to the city
Austin Mavericks Austin, Minnesota Riverside Arena 1977-1979 stay with league when continues as a junior level league
Bloomington Junior Stars Bloomington, Minnesota Bloomington Ice Garden 1977-1979 stay with league when continues as a junior level league
St. Paul Vulcans Saint Paul, Minnesota Aldrich Ice Arena (Maplewood) Columbia Arena (Fridley) 1977-1979 stay with league when continues as a junior level league
Anoka Nordiques Coon Rapids, Minnesota and/or Fridley, Minnesota Cook Memorial Arena and/or Columbia Arena 1978-1979 become New Hope, Minnesota based Hennepin Nordiques when league becomes a junior level league

Note: The Anoka Nordiques are listed on other websites as playing in Anoka, Minnesota. The Columbia Arena in Fridley, Minnesota opened in 1968 as the first indoor arena in the area and the Cook Memorial Arena in Coon Rapids, Minnesota opened in 1973. These were the only two indoor arenas in Anoka County until the Anoka Area Ice Arena opened in 1981.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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