The United States Hockey League and its 17 member clubs announced today the 2018-19 regular season schedule.
Beginning in 2018-19, the USHL regular season will consist of 62 games. For the first time, all 17 member clubs will play their first two (2) regular season games at the 2018 DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic in Cranberry Township, PA Sept. 27-30. 2018-19 preseason matchups will also be released at a later date.
The 2018-19 regular season will begin on Thursday, Sept. 27 and conclude on Saturday, Apr. 13, spanning 28 weeks.
FULL USHL REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
For the second straight year, the 2018-19 season will consist of 12 teams advancing to the Clark Cup Playoffs, with the top two seeds in each Conference receiving a first-round bye. The first round will be a best-of-three series hosted by the #3 and #4 seeds in each conference versus the #5 and #6 seeds, respectively. The remaining rounds of the Clark Cup Playoffs will be determined by best-of-five series will home-ice advantage going to the higher seed.
- The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders home opener against the Sioux City Musketeers on Oct. 13 will usher in the 20th season of hockey in Cedar Rapids. The RoughRiders annual Bank of the West Teddy Bear Toss will take place on Nov. 24 as they host the in-state rival Waterloo Black Hawks.
- The Central Illinois Flying Aces will put on the inaugural WWE night on Dec. 28. Big, bad Hacksaw Jim Duggan will come to town, looking to avenge his loss to The Undertaker in the infamous Killer Cage Match of 1991. Feb. 16 will be Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by OSF Healthcare at Grossinger Motors Arena, with a special pregame ceremony to honor those fighting cancer.
- The Chicago Steel will play their home opener on Oct. 5 when they welcome the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders to Fox Valley Ice Arena. The Steel will also host Team USA on Saturday, Dec. 29 for the first time since the two teams squared off in the 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
- The Des Moines Buccaneers will open the home schedule with a pair of games on back-to-back nights. The Bucs will host the defending Anderson Cup champion Waterloo Black Hawks on Oct. 5 before welcoming the Lincoln Stars to Buccaneer Arena the following evening.
- The Dubuque Fighting Saints Military Appreciation Night will be Nov. 17. There will be a postgame jersey auction benefitting the Veterans Freedom Center in Dubuque, a place of camaraderie for veterans. The team will then put on Autism Awareness Night on Apr. 5, with benefits of ticket sales going to autism-related services in the Dubuque area.
- The Fargo Force will be raising their 2018 Clark Cup Champions banner to the rafters at Scheels Arena ahead of their home opener on Oct. 5 against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Fargo's annual Hometown Heroes Night presented by Cross Insulation will take place on Jan. 19.
- The Green Bay Gamblers welcome the Sioux City Musketeers for the home opener at Resch Center on Oct. 5. The Madison Capitols head north to visit their in-state rival for the first time on Dec. 8, the first of five meetings between the two Cheese Cup combatants in Green Bay.
- The Lincoln Stars home opener will be Oct. 5 against their archrival Omaha Lancers, as the two teams will renew the hottest rivalry in the USHL. Lincoln will host Read Across America Night on Mar. 2 against the Lancers. The Stars will wear a specialty jersey that evening, one of three games the team will wear specialty jerseys. Following the game, the team will auction off the sweaters, with proceeds benefitting Lincoln Public Schools.
- The Madison Capitols home opener on Oct. 12 will showcase the team's "Face-Lift 2 Face-Off", which will highlight the renovations done by the organization to Bob Suter Capitol Ice Arena. The fifth annual "Be the Miracle" night will take place on Jan. 5 and feature a soon-to-be-announced bobblehead giveaway.
- The Muskegon Lumberjacks welcome the Chicago Steel to L.C. Walker Arena on Oct. 13 to begin their home slate. It is the first meeting between the two teams since their epic three-game Eastern Conference First Round series in April. The Lumberjacks will also close their regular season at home against the Steel on Apr. 13.
- The Omaha Lancers will host in-state rival Tri-City on Oct. 6 to begin their home schedule at Ralston Arena. The Lancers will host their archrival Lincoln Stars four times in 2018-19, including their penultimate game of the season on Apr. 12, the start of a home-and-home set to close out the year.
- The Sioux City Musketeers will put on their annual “Pink in the Rink” night on Saturday, Oct. 27 against their rival Sioux Falls Stampede. The Omaha Lancers will come to town for a New Year's Eve showdown.
- The Sioux Falls Stampede will officially kick off their 20th anniversary season at home on October 13 against the Fargo Force. The first 1,000 kids 12-and-under will receive a free replica jersey, compliments of Waterbury Heating & Cooling and Coleman. The 12th annual Sioux Nation Pet Clinic Wiener Dog Races, always a popular event, will commence on February 23rd at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center when the Omaha Lancers come to town.
- Team USA will be putting on Mascot Madness on Oct. 26 when in-state rival Muskegon comes to USA Hockey Arena. All the favorite local mascots will All the favorite local mascots will be in attendance and filling the arena with fun, including the wacky intermission hockey showdown at center ice. Dec. 19 will be the annual Kid’s Day game. There will be fun education activities for kids throughout the game, which has a special start time of 10:30 AM.
- The Tri-City Storm will open their home slate with a matchup against the Des Moines Buccaneers on Oct. 12 at the Viaero Center. The team will also host Boy Scout Day on Dec. 1 when the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders go to Kearney for a special 3:05 PM Saturday matinee.
- The Waterloo Black Hawks traditional Thanksgiving game against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders will take place on Nov. 22, the first of four home dates for Waterloo against their in-state rival. The Black Hawks will go green on Feb. 1 and 2 during the team's John Deere Weekend. The annual tradition will see Waterloo decked out in special green John Deere-themed jerseys.
- The Youngstown Phantoms will be putting on Akron Children's Hospital Superhero night on Jan. 19 when they host Cedar Rapids. The team's annual Military Appreciation Night will take place on Feb. 16.