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Minnesota Blue Ox Awarded USPHL Franchise for 2017-18 Season

By Brett M Bruneteau, 06/14/17, 11:45AM EDT


Blue Ox to Become 16th Team in USPHL Midwest Division



MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and his wife Crystal are part of a group that has been awarded a USPHL franchise for the 2017-2018 season. The team will play out of Coon Rapids, MN.  The Boudreau’s will headline a prominent group of Minnesotans with the purpose of growing junior hockey in the already great State of Hockey. 
“We are thrilled to have Bruce and Crystal (Boudreau) and the Minnesota Blue Ox joining our league,” said USPHL Commissioner Richard Gallant. Jay Witta, Terri Yontz Miller, and Tim Mahoney fill out the ownership group.
USPHL membership set a new record for college placements during the 2016-17 season with 375 - and counting.  However, one particular area where the USPHL membership dominated was at the NCAA Division Three level aggregating 182 direct placements in just the past season.  This number is in stark contrast when compared to the league’s closest competitor, whose membership for the 2017-18 season only totaled 76 direct NCAA Division Three placements.
With the fourth season of the United States Premier Hockey League in the books, the league has continued to enjoy significant representation at all levels of the NCAA hockey landscape. The league features organizations that are spread throughout the United States, and thanks to operating in the backyard of nearly every NCAA team, the member organizations have little trouble advancing players to the next level.
Not surprisingly, the USPHL’s Division One placement continues to be on the rise with over 100 committed players participating in the league last season.  With players such as Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey playing for USPHL teams on their way to college hockey and the NHL, the member organizations’ history speaks for itself. Players such as University of Denver forward and Jersey Hitmen alum Evan Ritt illustrate the nationwide exposure given to the USPHL’s players.
“Charlie Coyle is another example of the USPHL’s success model.  He currently plays for me in Minnesota, but years ago, he was playing for the South Shore Kings,” Boudreau continued. “The USPHL is a young league, but I only expect to see more and more of their players taking the spotlight at the collegiate and professional levels.”
More Information about the Minnesota Blue Ox
The Minnesota Blue Ox will play out of the Coon Rapids Ice Center, a northwestern suburb of Minneapolis, MN. The team will be led by owner, head coach and general manager Jay Witta.  
For the past two seasons Witta has been the head coach of the NA3HL’s Junior A’ hockey team – New Ulm Steel. Witta completed a 67-33-10 two year record with a Silver Cup semifinal appearance last season and a Western Division playoff final loss to the eventual National Champion, Granite City this year. Witta facilitated all player development training and implemented all team systems to be executed in game situations.
“We are so excited to have assembled such a strong and passionate ownership group and executive team,” said Witta. “Each one of us brings a unique skill set that will help us to give our players the best Junior A’ Hockey experience in the nation. Because at the end of the day, The Players Come First.  We also believe that with our business experience, NHL, College, Junior and High School networking contacts, marketing power and competitiveness – our franchise can prosper as a sustainable Junior A’ hockey team for many years to come in the Twin Cities’ marketplace.”
Players interested in playing for the Minnesota Blue Ox can register for a two day Mini Camp on July 29-30 in Coon Rapids, MN.   Visit