The newly formed United States Premier Hockey League Mid-West announced their conferences and divisions, leaving Royales fans scratching their heads.

Western Conference
Eastern Conference

West Division 1

Minnesota Owls
Blaine Energy
Forest Lake Lakers
Hudson Crusaders
Steele County Blades
Ironwood Yoopers

West Division 2

Chicago Cougars
Dells Ducks
Wisconsin Rapids River Kings
Illiana Blackbirds
Decatur Blaze
St. Louis Storm

East Division 1

Soo Firehawks
Traverse City Hounds
Marquette Royales
Alpena Flyers
Kalkaska Rhinos

 East Division 2

Wooster Oilers
Detroit Fighting Irish
Michigan Ice Dogs
Fort Wayne Attack
Detroit Hawks
Tri City Ice Hawks

None of Marquette’s old MnJHL rivals are in their division but now the Royales will have a major geographical rivals from downstate that connects with the historical rivalries shared by the Redmen and the old Electricians.

“It heats up Marquette’s deep-rooted rivalries with the Soo, Traverse City and Alpena. Growing up in Marquette and playing through high school here the thought of those cities still gets me fired up. It’s great for our fans and community to have teams in those cities we can have as rivals,” Stanaway said.

Kalkaska and Traverse City will be the biggest threats to the Royales in the division. The TC Hounds didn’t lose a game in regulation last season on their way to the Midwest Junior Hockey League championships and the Rhinos have been a consistently respected franchise, but both have high turnover compared to last season.

The hated River Kings and Blackbirds aren’t even in the same conference. However, teams in the league have a level of independence in creating their schedule. Stanaway has promised that the Royales will continue to try to schedule those games.

The Royales have announced some of their players already on their social media pages, including the resigning of defenseman Jayson Dahlquist.

“I am excited about the players and team we have coming in,” Stanaway said. “It should be much more entertaining games and fans should see a lot more tallies in the win column.”

For more information on those players and Marquette moving forward, check out the Royales Facebook page.

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