Here’s what you need to know about the Clark Cup Playoff Format, the teams in the playoffs, playoff dates and more!
(1) Waterloo Black Hawks
(2) Omaha Lancers
(3) Fargo Force - Western Conference Champions
(4) Sioux Falls Stampede
(5) Lincoln Stars
(6) Tri-City Storm (1) Team USA
(2) Youngstown Phantoms - Eastern Conference Champions
(3) Muskegon Lumberjacks
(4) Green Bay Gamblers
(5) Dubuque Fighting Saints
(6) Chicago Steel
Clark Cup Final
Fargo Force vs. Youngstown Phantoms (Fargo wins 2018 Clark Cup, wins series 3-1)
Eastern Conference Final
(1) Team USA vs. (2) Youngstown Phantoms (YNG wins series 3-1)
Western Conference Final
(1) Waterloo Black Hawks vs. (3) Fargo Force (FGO wins series 3-1)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
(1) Team USA vs. (6) Chicago Steel (USA wins series 3-1)
(2) Youngstown Phantoms vs. (5) Dubuque Fighting Saints (YNG wins series 3-0)
Western Conference Semifinals
(1) Waterloo Black Hawks vs. (5) Lincoln Stars (WAT wins series 3-1)
(2) Omaha Lancers vs. (3) Fargo Force (FGO wins series 3-1)
Eastern Conference First Round
(3) Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. (6) Chicago Steel (CHI wins series 2-1)
(4) Green Bay Gamblers vs. (5) Dubuque Fighting Saints (DBQ wins series 2-0)
Western Conference First Round
(3) Fargo Force vs. (6) Tri-City Storm (FGO wins series 2-0)
(4) Sioux Falls Stampede vs. (5) Lincoln Stars (LIN wins series 2-1)
1. How many teams qualify for the Clark Cup Playoffs?
The top six teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
2. What is the playoff format?
The 2018 Clark Cup Playoffs consist of four rounds. The first round is a best-of-three series played at the higher seed. The three remaining rounds are best-of-five series with the higher seed having home ice advantage. There is no shootout in playoff games; if tied after regulation, the game will advance to sudden-death overtime periods of 20 minutes each until a winner is determined. Here is the format:
First Round (best-of-three) - within each conference, #3 vs. #6, #4 vs. #5
Conference Semifinals (best-of-five) – within each conference, #1 vs. lowest remaining seed, #2 vs. second-lowest remaining seed
Conference Finals (best-of-five) – within each conference, the winners of the Conference Semifinals meet
Clark Cup Final – winners of each Conference Finals series
3. When will the playoff games be played?
Playoff dates are announced prior to the start of each series, once the matchup is officially determined. Here are probable dates for each series:
First Round – Monday, April 16 through Thursday, April 19
Conference Semifinals – Friday, April 20 through Saturday, April 28
Conference Finals – Friday, April 27 through Tuesday, May 8
Clark Cup Final – Friday, May 11 through Wednesday, May 23
Please note that this is subject to change due to building availability and travel, so make sure to check ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com for the schedule for each playoff series which will be announced when the matchup is officially determined.
4. When will playoff tickets go on sale?
Playoff ticket packages are on sale now through the Steel Pay As We Play program. This ensures the same seat to every Clark Cup Playoff Home Game. The Steel also offer a March Madness package that guarantees FREE playoff games with the purchase of a new season ticket plan (starting at just 5 games) for next season.
Single-game playoff tickets will be on sale prior to each series. Please continue to check ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com for announcements on playoff ticket on-sale dates for each round.
5. What is the Clark Cup?
The Clark Cup is symbolic of supremacy in American junior hockey, presented annually to the playoff champions of the nation’s only Tier 1 circuit, the USHL. It is named in honor of Don Clark, the long-time registrar of the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association.
The Steel won the Clark Cup for the first time in 2017, defeating the Sioux City Musketeers in Game 5, 2-1 in overtime, May 23 at Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Tyler Gratton scored the Cup-clinching goal 11:30 into overtime.
|2014-15||Sioux Falls Stampede|
|2012-13||Dubuque Fighting Saints|
|2011-12||Green Bay Gamblers|
|2010-11||Dubuque Fighting Saints|
|2009-10||Green Bay Gamblers|
|2006-07||Sioux Falls Stampede|
|2005-06||Des Moines Buccaneers|
|2004-05||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders|
|2003-04||Waterloo Black Hawks|
|2001-02||Sioux City Musketeers|
|1999-00||Green Bay Gamblers|
|1998-99||Des Moines Buccaneers|
|1997-98||Sioux City Musketeers|
|1995-96||Green Bay Gamblers|
|1994-95||Des Moines Buccaneers|
|1991-92||Des Moines Buccaneers|
|1988-89||Thunder Bay Flyers|
|1987-88||Thunder Bay Flyers|
|1985-86||Sioux City Musketeers|
|1984-85||Dubuque Fighting Saints|
|1983-84||St. Paul Vulcans|
|1982-83||Dubuque Fighting Saints|
|1981-82||Sioux City Musketeers|
|1980-81||Dubuque Fighting Saints|