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United States Hockey League (1961-1979)

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The United States Hockey League was a semi-pro.senior in the midwestern United States and central Canada from 1961 to 1979.

Starting in 1979-80, the United States Hockey League has been a junior league.




Precursors to this league were:

The American Amateur Hockey League was established in 1947 as the Minnesota-based American Amateur Hockey League with teams in Minneapolis, Rochester and St. Paul. Since its debut, the league has progressed and changed its name several times: In 1952, it became the Central Hockey League; then the next season it became the Minnesota Hockey League; and in 1956 the name was changed again to the Central Hockey League. In 1961, it adopted the name United States Hockey League (USHL).

United States Hockey League (1961-1979)Edit

The USHL welcomed the first female professional hockey player in 1969-70, when the Marquette Iron Rangers signed Karen Koch.

By the late 1970s, the USHL had fallen on hard times. In the summer of 1977, clubs from the recently folded Midwest Junior Hockey League contacted the USHL. A unique merger was formed, with the three junior teams (Bloomington Junior Stars, Austin Mavericks, St. Paul Vulcans) and three remaining pro teams (Sioux City Musketeers, Waterloo Black Hawks, Green Bay Bobcats) gathered under the USHL banner. League governors decided on a two-division format, with the junior-aged teams in the Midwest Division and the professionals in the U.S. Division. The teams played an interlocking schedule that was, predictably, dominated by the professionals. The USHL's split existence would last just two seasons. The minor-pro wing of the league folded following the 1978-79 season, providing junior hockey operators with the opportunity to redefine the circuit. The 1979-80 season was the league's first as an entirely junior arrangement.

The league's last season as a senior hockey league was 1978-79. During this final season the league comprised seven teams in two conferences. The U.S. Conference (with the Green Bay Bobcats, the Sioux City Musketeers and the Waterloo Black Hawks); while the Midwest Conference (with the Anoka Nordiques, the Austin Mavericks, the Bloomington Junior Stars, and the St. Paul Vulcans. All seven teams were made up with players categorized as "Senior Amateur". Following the 1978-79 season the senior league teams in the U.S. Conference folded and the USHL became an all-junior league the following season.

Teams (1961-1979)Edit

Team City Years
Anoka Nordiques Anoka, Minnesota 1978-1979
Austin Mavericks Austin, Minnesota 1977-1979
Bloomington Junior Stars Bloomington, Minnesota 1977-1979
Calumet-Houghton Chiefs Calumet Township, Michigan 1972-1973
Central Wisconsin Flyers Stevens Point, Wisconsin 1974-1976
Chicago Warriors Chicago, Illinois 1972-1975
Copper-Country Chiefs Calumet, Michigan 1974-1976
Copper-Country Islanders Calumet, Michigan 1973-1974
Des Moines Oak Leafs Urbandale, Iowa 1968-1969
Duluth Port Stars Duluth, Minnesota 1968-1969 (Duluth dropped out of league on December 30, 1968)
Fox Valley Astros Dundee, Illinois 1965-1966
Grand-Rapids Blades Grand Rapids, Michigan 1976-1977
Grand-Rapids Bruins Grand Rapids, Minnesota 1968-1969
Green Bay Bobcats Green Bay, Wisconsin 1961-1979
Madison Blues Madison, Wisconsin 1973-1974 (transferred to CHL)
Marquette Iron Rangers Marquette, Michigan 1964-1976
Milwaukee Admirals Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1973-1977 (transferred to IHL)
Milwaukee Metros Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1961-1962 (Milwaukee folded Jan 16, 1962 due to financial trouble)
Minneapolis Rebels Minneapolis, Minnesota 1961-1962
Minnesota Nationals Saint Paul, Minnesota 1967-1968 (U.S. 1968 Olympic team)
Rochester Mustangs Rochester, Minnesota 1961-1970
Sault Ste. Marie Canadians Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario 1968-1972
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario 1972-1973
Sioux City Musketeers Sioux City, Iowa 1972-1979
St. Paul Steers Saint Paul, Minnesota 1962-1966
St. Paul Vulcans Saint Paul, Minnesota 197-1979
Thunder Bay Twins Thunder Bay, Ontario 1970-1975 (transferred to OHA)
Traverse City Bays Traverse City, Michigan 1975-1977
U.S. Nationals Saint Paul, Minnesota 1966-1967
Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo, Ontario 1962-1969, 1970-79

List of seasonsEdit

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