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USHL to play preseason games in New Jersey @NHLdotcom

The United States Hockey League is coming to New Jersey.


Friday, Sept. 6
-Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Waterloo Black Hawks (Codey Arena), 5 p.m.
-Youngstown Phantoms vs. Sioux City Musketeers (Ice House), 7 p.m.
-Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Sioux Falls Stampede (Codey Arena), 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 7
-Sioux Falls Stampede vs. Youngstown Phantoms (Codey Arena), 12:30 p.m.
-Waterloo Black Hawks vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (Ice House), 2 p.m.
-Sioux City Musketeers vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (Codey Arena), 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 8
-Sioux City Musketeers vs. Waterloo Black Hawks (Codey Arena), 9:45 a.m.
-Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Sioux Falls Stampede (Codey Arena), 11 a.m.
-Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Youngstown Phantoms (Codey Arena), 12:45 p.m.

The league announced Monday a schedule of preseason games that will highlight the 2013 USHL Atlantic Challenge, to be held Sept. 6-8 at the Ice House in Hackensack and Codey Arena in West Orange.

The event will mark the first time the league will have teams competing along the East Coast.

The games will feature six USHL teams: the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Muskegon Lumberjacks and Youngstown Phantoms of the Eastern Conference and Sioux City Musketeers, Sioux Falls Stampede and Waterloo Black Hawks of the Western Conference.

The USHL Atlantic Challenge is being hosted by three youth and junior hockey organizations: the Long Island Gulls, New York Bobcats and North Jersey Avalanche. The Ice House will host a pair of games, and Codey Arena at South Mountain, the former practice facility of the New Jersey Devils, will have the remaining seven games.

In addition to the on-ice event, the USHL and local organizers are planning a town hall meeting for players, parents, coaches and the East Coast hockey community on Sept. 7.

"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," USHL commissioner Skip Prince said in a statement. "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."

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