Thursday, July 29, 2010

USHL releases 2010-11 schedule; New divisional alignment

After an brief exhausting delay, the USHL released the 2010-11 season schedule today, along with the highly anticipated new divisional setup.  First I want to touch on the new divisions, and then we'll talk about the highlights of the 2010-11 season schedule for the Lincoln Stars.


The 2010-11 USHL season will see the following 16 teams split into two conferences.

Western Conference:
Des Moines
Dubuque
Fargo
Lincoln
Omaha
Sioux City
Sioux Falls

Tri-City

Eastern Conference:
Cedar Rapids
Chicago
Green Bay
Indiana
Muskegon
Team USA
Waterloo
Youngstown


I'm not sure how Dubuque is in the Western Division, when geographically they are east of Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, but the USHL has their reasons I suppose.  Here is how the playoffs will break down according to the press release the USHL posted earlier today:
At the conclusion of the 480-game regular season schedule, the top six teams in each Conference will qualify for the Clark Cup Playoffs.  The first and second place teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences will earn a first-round playoff bye as the remaining four teams in each Conference will vie for the two remaining spots in the second round.  The winner of each playoff race in the respective conferences will meet in a best-of-five final series for the Clark Cup.
 Okay, now let's switch gears and talk about the Stars.

 Click here to see the 2010-11 season schedule for the Lincoln Stars.

The Lincoln Stars will open the 2010-11 season on the road against the Tri-City Storm on Friday, October 1st.  Start planning now for that one.  It's just a few hours away and I know the players would appreciate it if a lot of us turned out for that game.  The first home game for the Stars will be on Friday, October 8th against the Youngstown Phantoms.  Here are some highlights of the season schedule:
  • In the first half of the season (30 games), the Stars will play 17 games at home, and 13 games on the road.
  • In the second half of the season (30 games), the Stars will play 13 games at home and 17 games on the road.
  • No Halloween game in Lincoln this season.
  • The Stars will play at home game on Wednesday, November 24th (the day before Thanksgiving) against the Omaha Lancers.  The Stars will travel to Sioux City to take on the Musketeers on Thanksgiving day.
  • The Stars will play four weekday games at home:  Wednesday 11/24/10 against Omaha; Tuesday 1/18/11 against Sioux City; Wednesday 2/16/11 against Green Bay; and Tuesday 3/8/11 against Omaha.
  • Of the final 12 games in the regular season, the Stars only play 4 of those 12 at home.
  • The longest home-stand at the IceBox is only 4 games.
  • 7 of the first 10 games of the season will be played at the IceBox
  • The first and last games of the season will be played on the road against the Tri-City Storm.
I haven't had a chance yet to really study the schedule, but it appears that the Stars will play everyone in the West Division (except for Des Moines and Dubuque) eight times, and every other team in the USHL they will play two times.  This format is dead-nuts on to what Skip Berry (the TC radio announcer) speculated a few weeks ago on the Storm message board.

Your thoughts on this schedule?  It's nice to finally have the Stars play more home games in the first half of the season.  Which road games are you most excited to see in person?  October can't come soon enough!

19 comments:

lincolnfan said...

wow, i wasn't expecting this to be released today because of the announcement this morning. very interesting schedule... but seems very appealing. seems like in February/March we go several weeks/weekends at a time with no games, but overall i like the schedule. i like that it's a bit more even with more games falling in the first half of the schedule.

road trips..... not sure. maybe a road trip to Kearney for the season opener. also would like to road trip up to Fargo.. never been there, but heard many good things about the arena, fans, and obviously would be a good team to see with Steve Johnson being the head coach. i guess we'll wait and see as the season gets closer when i look over the schedule more closely. can't wait for October!!!!

Yeti said...

12 of the 16 teams in the USHL will qualify for the playoffs. The top two teams in each conference will receive a first round bye. I'm not sure if those first round matchups will be a best-of-3 or best-of-5 series.

New Hockey Fan said...

It's great to finally have a schedule, although disappointing that we don't open at home. At least Kearney is close-already planning a road trip. :-) Hope to see lots of fans there.
Go Stars!

starstruck said...

Several opportunities for road trips – Fargo in particular. One weekend it is back to back games in Fargo. Another weekend it is Fargo and Sioux Falls and Thanksgiving week it is Sioux City and Fargo. The December 4th game in Des Moines with Omaha the next day would make a fun weekend also.

It is a relief to finally have the schedule - very anxious for that first home game! Now we just need to hope UNL can get us through the gates before the home opener video starts :) Go Stars!!

lincolnfan said...

wow, i can't believe my eyes... a JournalStar article about the Stars: http://journalstar.com/sports/hockey/stars/article_c223e92a-9b7a-11df-8ce1-001cc4c002e0.html

BellTolls said...

Yeti, I'm guessing they didn't want Dubuque and Muskegon in the same conference since they're both expansion teams. That would seem unfair.

Layla said...

Hmm the brief article doesn't appear to have Brent's byline so he's still MIA LOL

Hey Hey Whadda Ya Say said...

The schedule is complete !!! Hmmm...TBD's on ALL away games...whats up with that ?

Let's Go STARS !!!

Hey Hey Whadda Ya Say said...

I was looking at the schedule posted via the link on the STARS website...bad choice !

The schedule at USHL.COM shows all game times.

Let's Go STARS !!!

Yeti said...

A few more things I noticed when looking closer at the home schedule:

- 19 Friday night games
- 7 Saturday night games
- 2 Tuesday night games
- 2 Wednesday night games

That's a LOT of Friday night games....and not that many Saturday night games. I wonder if the Stars asked for that?

The UNL Mens and Womens 2010-11 basketball schedule has not been released yet. I was going to see what conflicts there would be throughout the season.

starstruck said...

Hey Hey, the times for the away games are available on the USHL link:

http://www.ushl.com/schedule/index.cfm?teamid=LIN

Yeti said...

Thanks for the links. I've updated the links in the above article to send folks to the USHL link with the away times listed.

Yeti said...

Looks like the schedule has been changed already. The USHL and Pointstreak websites now indicate that the first game of the season for the Stars will be the Friday, October 8th home game against the Youngstown Phantoms.

Previously, the schedule indicated that the Stars first game of the season would be on the road against the Tri-City Storm on October 1st. That game has been moved to Tuesday, October 19th.

I'll update the article.

Thanks to the blog reader who brought this to my attention. I appreciate it.

Yeti said...

Well, now I'm hearing that the USHL and the Pointstreak page is wrong. The Stars will open the 2010-11 season on the road against the Tri-City Storm on Friday, October 1st.

Skip Berry (the Storm radio announcer) gave me that bit of information, so I trust it.

I'll re-edit the article.

StarsHcky said...

So I just wrote the USHL about the Fall Classic schedule and was told they are finalizing it, and it should be released later today! Cant wait I'm so excited!

Yeti said...

StarsHcky,

Thanks for posting that! I'll keep my eye out for it.

Hey Hey Whadda Ya Say said...

USHL.COM now shows STARS 1st game Oct 1st @ TC

Let's Go STARS !!!

Anonymous said...

lincoln is playing a preseason road game in ommaha on sat sep 18th to all of you brave enough to come

Yeti said...

Yes, we're all aware the Stars will play the Lancers at Tranquility on September 18th. We'll be there.