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USHL Announces 2020-21 Clark Cup Playoff Format

04/02/2021, 1:45pm CDT
By USHL

Regular Season Ends Saturday, April 24

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Friday the format for the 2020-21 USHL Clark Cup Playoffs. This season’s playoffs will feature four teams from each the Eastern and Western Conference beginning on Friday, April 30. 

This season, both the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals will be a best-of-three series before the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Champions are scheduled to meet in a best-of-five Clark Cup Final. 

The Conference Semifinals will be played as a best-of-three series with all three games played at the better seed’s home venue. The Conference Finals will be a best-of-three series in which the higher seed chooses between a 1-1-1 format or 1-2 format. The 1-1-1 format would see the higher seed host Games 1 & 3 while the 1-2 format would see the higher seed host Games 2 & 3. The Clark Cup Final is scheduled to be a traditional best-of-five series with a 2-2-1 format in which the higher seed would host Games 1, 2 & 5. 

Clark Cup Playoffs Dates
(exact game dates dependent on matchup and building availability)

Conference Semifinals (best-of-three series, all games at higher seed): April 30-May 2
Conference Finals (best-of-three series, 1-1-1 or 1-2 format, as chosen by higher seed): May 6-10 
Clark Cup Final (best-of-five series, 2-2-1 format): May 14-25

Unique to this season, should a team, or teams, be unable to play a full 54-game schedule the USHL has put in place a series of new standards for qualifying and seeding for the 2020-21 Playoffs. If, at the end of the regular season, a Conference has an unequal number of games played among its teams, point percentage (PCT) will be used to determine the final conference standings instead of total points. 

The USHL will continue to adhere to its COVID protocols for the duration of the Clark Cup Playoffs. Should a team be unable to reach minimum player requirements for a playoff game, the USHL will assess each circumstance as it arises. The League reserves the right to reduce the Clark Cup Final to a best-of-three series should the postseason timeline be altered due to COVID-19. 

Be sure to check USHL.com for the latest standings, as well as the latest news on Clark Cup Playoffs matchups and schedule.


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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