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:
|t3. Sioux Falls||51||28||17||6||62||.608||166||151||778||16-7-1||12-10-5|
|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|
By: Tim How