The United States Hockey League announced today the full schedule and teams participating in the 2018 DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic Youth Tournaments -- to be held in the Pittsburgh area, including the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. This year, in addition to the return of tournaments featuring 16 of the top 16U and 14U teams from the United States, the 2018 Fall Classic will also introduce youth tournaments at the 18U and 15U levels, increasing the number of youth teams at the event from 32 to 64.
Teams will compete in group play, followed by semifinal games and a championship game to determine the 2018 DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic 14U, 15U, 16U and 18U Youth Tournament champions.
Games will take place at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, training facility of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Baierl Ice Complex in Cranberry Township, PA, Printscape Arena at Southpointe in Canonsburg, PA and a pair of locations in Pittsburgh - the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center and the Alpha Ice Complex - from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1. Youth players will have complimentary access to all USHL games at the Fall Classic.
Each team will play all three opponents in its group, collecting points based on wins, overtime wins and overtime losses. The top team in each group will then advance to the semifinals, while the other teams will compete in one last game for final standings. The championship will be determined with a final game between the winners of the semifinal contests, while final standings 3-16 will be determined by final points earned based upon records.
Team Wisconsin will aim to defend their 16U Youth Tournament title after defeating Dallas Stars Elite last year, while the Minnesota Blades try to earn their third straight 14U Youth Tournament crown after winning in 2016 and 2017.
For the second consecutive year, 10 of the 16 teams at last season's USA Hockey National Championships, including all four semifinalists, will be participating in the 16U tournament.
In total, 19 states will be represented between the teams participating in the Fall Classic Youth Tournaments: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.