CHICAGO – The United States Hockey League announced Monday a full schedule of preseason games to highlight the 2013 USHL Atlantic Challenge, set to take place the weekend of Friday, September 6th through Sunday, September 8th in two major New Jersey youth hockey venues. Featuring six USHL Member Clubs, three each from the Eastern and Western Conference, the event will be the first time the League has played games in the East, and the largest showcase of USHL talent outside the Midwest in League history.
The USHL Atlantic Challenge is being hosted by a trio of highly respected and successful East Coast-based youth and junior hockey organizations – the Long Island Gulls, New York Bobcats, and North Jersey Avalanche. The schedule of nine USHL preseason games highlight three days of play of the Atlantic Challenge invitational tournament for some of the region’s top under-14, under-16, under-18, and junior teams.
USHL Eastern Conference teams participating include the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Muskegon Lumberjacks, and Youngstown Phantoms, while the Western Conference will be represented by the Sioux City Musketeers, Sioux Falls Stampede, and Waterloo Black Hawks.
USHL games will be played at two different facilities in New Jersey. The Ice House, a four-surface facility in Hackensack and home to the North Jersey Avalanche, will host a pair of games, while the Codey Arena at South Mountain, the two-sheet arena in West Orange and former practice home of the New Jersey Devils, will host the remaining seven games in the Challenge schedule.
In addition to the USHL Atlantic Challenge’s intense schedule of hockey games, the USHL and local organizers are planning a major “town hall” meeting for players, parents, coaches, and the burgeoning East Coast hockey community on Saturday evening. “We want those thousands of players, and their parents, in this region to better understand not only the USHL, and why it is the United States’ only Tier I junior hockey league, but the USA Hockey pyramid of development on which we are perched,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. “The education-based American development model is changing the face of the game, from the NHL right down to the quality of coaching at the mite level, and we need to bring the results of that model to this great region for everyone to appreciate.” Details of the town hall will issue in the near future.
A number of Challenge games were originally scheduled to be played as the opening of the new Ferraro Brothers Ice Center in East Meadow, Long Island, but tournament organizers working with the USHL opted to shift to an all-New-Jersey setting for this year to insure proper time for the completion of that important new facility. “The cooperation of both Ron Friedman, the Ferraros, and the Gulls organization, as well as local and regional authorities at the Codey Arena and New Jersey youth hockey in this effort, has been nothing short of amazing,” continued Prince. “It’s showed us how important it’s going to be to make this event an annual commitment to the region and the great hockey that’s being developed here.”
USHL Atlantic Challenge Game Schedule
Friday, September 6th
5:00 PM – Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Waterloo Black Hawks (Codey Arena)
7:00 PM – Youngstown Phantoms vs. Sioux City Musketeers (Ice House)
8:00 PM – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Sioux Falls Stampede (Codey Arena)
Saturday, September 7th
12:30 PM – Sioux Falls Stampede vs. Youngstown Phantoms (Codey Arena)
2:00 PM – Waterloo Black Hawks vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (Ice House)
3:30 PM – Sioux City Musketeers vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (Codey Arena)
Sunday, September 8th
9:45 AM – Sioux City Musketeers vs. Waterloo Black Hawks (Codey Arena)
11:00 AM – Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Sioux Falls Stampede (Codey Arena)
12:45 PM – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Youngstown Phantoms (Codey Arena)
Times and locations for games in the invitational tournament portion of the USHL Atlantic Challenge will be announced in the coming days.
All USHL contests can be viewed live or on-demand via FASTHockey, the League’s broadband broadcast partner, and all live scoring can be viewed on the USHL Scoreboard powered by Pointstreak.