In the world of minor hockey, the Omaha Lancers have made a name for themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Founded in 1986, the Lancers have built a legacy of excellence and determination on the ice. From heart-racing upsets to triumphant wins, the team has given hockey fans many memorable moments to cherish. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most historic upsets and wins in the Omaha Lancers history.
The Early Years and Cup Wins
The Lancers made their debut in the United States Hockey League (USHL) in the 1986-1987 season. Led by head coach Mike Babcock, the team finished with a record of 38 wins, 15 losses, and 5 ties, making it to the playoffs in their very first season. To the surprise of many, the Lancers went on to win the Clark Cup, considered the most prestigious prize in the USHL, in just their second year in the league.
But the winning streak did not stop there. In the 1990-1991 season, the Lancers went on to claim their second Clark Cup under the leadership of head coach Al MacCormack. This time, they also won the Anderson Cup, awarded to the team with the most points in the regular season. It was a remarkable achievement for a team that had only been in the league for five years.
Upsetting the Defending Champs
In the 2006-2007 season, the Lancers found themselves facing the defending Clark Cup champions, the Sioux City Musketeers, in the playoffs. With a record of 38 wins, 22 losses, and 6 ties, the Lancers were the underdogs in this match-up. But that did not stop them from pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the USHL history.
Despite losing the first two games, the Lancers rallied back and won four consecutive games to eliminate the Sioux City Musketeers from the playoffs. It was an incredible comeback, and the team went on to win the Clark Cup that year, their third in franchise history.
Fans of the Omaha Lancers will never forget the 2012-2013 season, when the team went head to head with the Fargo Force in the Western Conference Finals. It was game five, and the series was tied at two games apiece. The Lancers found themselves trailing in the last few minutes of the game, but they refused to give up.
With just 54 seconds left on the clock, forward Jimmy Mullin scored the equalizer, taking the game into overtime. The fans at the Ralston Arena were on their feet, cheering for their team as they headed into sudden death overtime. And just like that, the Lancers did the unthinkable – defenseman Brian Cooper found the back of the net, ending the game and sending the Lancers to the Clark Cup Finals for the second time in three years.
A Phenomenal Season
If there is one season that will forever be etched in the minds of Lancers fans, it is the 2015-2016 season. The team set a record of 48 wins and only 11 losses, shattering many records along the way. Under head coach Brian Kaufman, the Lancers had one of the best offenses and defenses in the USHL, led by players like Austin Ortega, who went on to play for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
The regular season dominance translated into playoff success, as the Lancers clinched their fifth Clark Cup. It was a remarkable season that will always be remembered by fans and players alike.
The Future Is Bright
The Omaha Lancers continue to be a dominant force in the USHL. In the 2020-2021 season, they made it to the Western Conference Finals, continuing their tradition of playoff success. With talented players and a dedicated coaching staff, the Lancers are poised for even more historic upsets and wins in the future.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just a casual admirer of the sport, there is no doubt that the Omaha Lancers have given us many unforgettable moments in their history. From their early Cup wins to their recent achievements, the team has always embodied the spirit of determination and passion, making them a favorite among hockey fans. Here’s to many more historic upsets and wins in the Omaha Lancers’ future.