The United States Hockey League just completed the first round of the Clark Cup playoffs, with four best-of-five series set to begin this weekend.
The Tri-City Storm won the Anderson Cup as USHL's top regular season team, finishing with a franchise-record 47 wins in 62 games. The Sioux City Musketeers finished behind Tri-City as the second seed in the Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference, the defending league champion Chicago Steel took the top seed, with the Dubuque Fighting Saints behind them. Those teams earned first-round byes.
The Omaha Lancers, Muskegon Lumberjacks and Madison Capitols swept their best-of-three series, while the Waterloo Black Hawks went on the road to stun the Lincoln Stars in overtime Wednesday.
Here is a look at some regional players to keep an eye through the rest of the postseason, plus a few more from outside of New England who are expected to be difference-makers.