The United States Hockey League and its member clubs announced today the playoff dates and times for the 2017 Clark Cup Conference Finals. The Chicago Steel and Dubuque Fighting Saints will match up in the Eastern Conference Final, while the Sioux City Musketeers and Waterloo Black Hawks will match up in the Western Conference Final.
The last time the top two seeded teams in the Western Conference met in the Conference Final was 2012-13 when the top-seeded Sioux Falls Stampede squared off against the Fargo Force. The last time the top two seeded teams in the Eastern Conference met in the Conference Final was 2011-12 when the top-seeded Green Bay Gamblers played against the Indiana Ice. The last time both the top-two Eastern and Western teams in the regular season met in Clark Cup Semi-Finals was the 2002-03 season, the USHL’s inaugural season as America’s only Tier I junior hockey league, when the Lincoln Stars and River City Lancers played host to the Waterloo Black Hawks and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. At that time, Clark Cup Playoffs did not divide between the East Division and West Division. Both East Division teams were the lower seeds in Semi-Finals, and the eventual Clark Cup Championship matchup was between the two West Division teams.
Dubuque has advanced to the Conference Finals for the seventh consecutive season, matching their total Clark Cup Playoffs streak. The Fighting Saints have won two Clark Cup Championships, and have played in the Clark Cup Final three times over the seven-year period. Sioux City looks to become the first team to win both the Anderson Cup and Clark Cup in the same season since the Dubuque Fighting Saints accomplished the feat in 2013. The Musketeers can also become the first team to go from last place the season prior to winning the Clark Cup since the Indiana ice did so in 2014. The Waterloo Black Hawks have advanced to the Western Conference Final in back-to-back years, and are looking for their first Clark Cup Final appearance since 2013-14. The Chicago Steel will be playing in the team’s first Clark Cup Conference Final since the 2007-08 season.
All games will be broadcasted on ushl.hockeytv.com (HD broadcasts listed). All times listed below are local to the home team.
Eastern Conference Final:
(1) Chicago Steel vs. (2) Dubuque Fighting Saints
Game 1: Friday, 4/28/17 at 7:05 PM at Fox Valley Ice Arena (HD)
Game 2: Saturday, 4/29/17 at 7:05 PM at Fox Valley Ice Arena (HD)
Game 3: Friday, 5/5/17 at 7:35 PM at Mystique Community Ice Center (HD)
Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 5/6/17 at 7:05 PM at Mystique Community Ice Center (HD)
Game 5 (if necessary): Tuesday, 5/9/17 at 7:05 PM at Fox Valley Ice Arena (HD)
Western Conference Final:
(1) Sioux City Musketeers vs. (2) Waterloo Black Hawks
Game 1: Friday, 4/28/17 at 7:05 PM at Tyson Events Center
Game 2: Sunday, 4/30/17 at 4:00 PM at Tyson Events Center
Game 3: Friday, 5/5/17 at 7:05 PM at Young Arena
Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 5/6/17 at 7:05 PM at Young Arena
Game 5 (if necessary): Tuesday, 5/9/17 at 7:05 PM at Tyson Events Center
In addition, the USHL in conjunction with USA Hockey also announced the officials scheduled to work in the Clark Cup Conference Finals: Tony Aronson, Rhodes Dolan, William Hancock, Eric Krasnichuk, Sean MacFarlane, Ian McCambridge, Jeff Parker, Kyle Richetelle, Steven Rouillard, Jonathan Sladek, Liam Sewell, Stan Szczurek, John Tallieu, Logan Wetekamp, James White and Michael Zalcman.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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