Omaha Lancers

Omaha Lancers
Omaha Lancers Logo.svg
City Omaha, Nebraska
League USHL
Division West
Founded 1986
Home arena Omaha Civic Auditorium

Orange, Black, and Gray

Owner(s) Ben Robert (President & Managing Partner), John Donovan, Mike Hastings
Head coach Bliss Littler
Media KKAR
Franchise history
1986–2002, 2004–present Omaha Lancers
2002–2004 River City Lancers
Playoff championships Anderson Cup (5 times), Clark Cup (7 times league record), U.S. Junior National Champions (2 times)

The Omaha Lancers are a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team playing in the West Division of the United States Hockey League (USHL).

From 2002-2009, the Lancers' home ice was the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha. Until the 2001-2002 season, the Lancers played at the now-demolished Ak-Sar-Ben arena in Omaha. For two seasons (2002-2003 and 2003-2004), the team was known as the River City Lancers. On 5 February 2009, the Lancers announced on its website that they would be moving to the Omaha Civic Auditorium in downtown Omaha. .

The Omaha Lancers are known to be one of the most successful franchises in USHL history. They own five Anderson Cup (regular season) and seven Clark Cup (playoff) titles as well as two Junior National Championships. They are known for a strong fan base that emerged at a time when they were the only hockey team in Omaha. The Lancers have had hundreds of alumni move on to play NCAA Division I hockey and dozens more in the National Hockey League. In 2004 the Lancers made national headlines when a new ownership group consisting of hockey legends took over. This group included NHL greats Mario Lemieux and Luc Robitaille, as well as the captain of the "Miracle On Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic team, Mike Eruzione, William "Boots" DelBiaggio, John Donovan, and Ben Robert. The team current owners are Ben Robert, John Donovan and Mike Hastings. The Lancers' have a loud home crowd with many gametime traditions. The Lancers' goal song is "The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey with an accompanying chant from the home crowd. Prior to 2002 the Lancers played at the historic Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum. Omaha's archrival is the Lincoln Stars with whom they have had many memorable contests. The Lancers also have rivalries with the Des Moines Buccaneers, Sioux City Musketeers, and the Tri-City Storm (Kearney,NE).

The 1986-87 Lancer team was 0-46-2, winless for the entire season and making it into Sports Illustrated for this feat of futility. Their last two game away series was against the Des Moines Buccaneers during the 1986-87 season. The last game of that year, Sunday, March 4th 1987, almost ended in victory. The teams were tied after regulation. The Lancers almost pulled it out in overtime, only to lose eventually, 3-2, during this cliffhanging battle. The only known Pro player from the 1986-87 Lancer team, Antti Autere, was from Helsinki, Finland. He later played in the ECHL. The Lancers franchise owes a debt of gratitude to the many players from that season, as they were on the brink of throwing in the towel and folding many times. This group of misfit players and coaches stuck it out, under staffed and out played, so that within only 4 seasons, the Lancers won both the Anderson Cup, for best regular season record, and the Clark Cup for winning the season playoff title as well. Since their inception the Lancers have gone on to produce perhaps the most Division I and Pro players in all of the USHL.

The 2007-2008 Lancer team had the highest achievements possible in the USHL. The team journeyed to Quebec, Canada, with fellow USHL team, Indiana Ice, to participate in the CCM Junior Classic with the Quebec Ramparts and the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Lancers went 2-0 to win the Classic. The Lancers then went 3-0 at the USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City, Iowa, to win that tournament. Add in a pre-season game against Lincoln, and the Lancers were undefeated in the pre-season. For the regular season, the Lancers went 43-12-5 to win the Anderson Cup (regular season championship trophy). In the post season, the Lancers went 9-5 (out of a possible 15 games) and won the Clark Cup, playoff championship, with an Overtime goal in Game 5. Drew Palmisano, who was the starting goalie for much of the season, won the Playoff MVP title.

Despite the disappointment of their first round exit in the 2009 Clark Cup playoffs, the Lancers continued a USHL record 20th consecutive Clark Cup Playoff appearances.

External links

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