Fargo Force Hockey

New USHL playoff format

It is getting to be that time of year already. There are only eight games left for your Fargo Force and I have had a lot of fans asking me about the playoff format and what the chances of their favorite USHL club making the postseason are. Well, first off, barring a complete collapse the Force should make the playoffs.

There will be 12 playoff teams this year. That is made possible with the addition of Dubuque and Muskegon. Six teams from the East and six teams from the West will go. Brian Werger from the USHL offices sent the following in regards to the playoff format:

1. Playoff format:

The playoffs have expanded this season.

-       The top six teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs.

-       The top two teams in each conference will receive a bye in the first round.

-       Remaining four teams in each conference will play a best-of-three series (#3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5). All three games (third game if necessary) will be played at the rink of the team with the better seed. So the entire series between #6 and #3 will be played at the home arena of #3.

-       Following the first round, all subsequent rounds will then be a best-of-five

-       Winner of each conference playoff bracket will play in a best-of-five Clark Cup Final

That means the key is for the Force to at least be the No. 4 seed, so they can play at home. I know they are just 11-10-3 in home games, but home ice is important in the playoffs.

Here is a look at the current Western Conference Standings:

Team GP W L OTL PTS WPCT GF GA PIM HOME AWAY
1. Dubuque 49 30 11 8 68 .694 161 122 808 15-6-4 15-5-4
2. Omaha 51 29 15 7 65 .637 149 127 713 17-6-4 12-9-3
t3. Fargo 52 29 19 4 62 .596 150 129 1081 11-10-3 18-9-1
t3. Sioux Falls 51 28 17 6 62 .608 166 151 778 16-7-1 12-10-5
5. Lincoln 50 25 20 5 55 .550 156 163 1146 14-9-3 11-11-2
6. Des Moines 48 23 20 5 51 .531 140 147 1071 13-9-3 10-11-2
7. Sioux City 49 22 22 5 49 .500 131 143 819 10-11-3 12-11-2
8. Tri-City 50 19 21 10 48 .480 118 162 782 13-7-6 6-14-4

By: Tim How

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