FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Omaha, NE - Ben Robert, former owner of the Omaha Lancers, has been elected to the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame and will be inducted at the group's annual luncheon on April 13 at Ralston Arena. Robert owned the United States Hockey League (USHL) franchise from 2004-14, leading the Lancers to ten winning seasons and the 2008 national junior hockey championship. Robert relocated the team from its Mid-America Center venue in Council Bluffs to the Omaha Civic Auditorium in 2009, before spearheading the team's move into the new Ralston Arena in 2013.
“I am humbled to receive this remarkable honor, and wish to share it with the people of Omaha, as a symbol of my overwhelming gratitude for their incredible enthusiasm and support of the Lancers,” said Robert. “I also wish to acknowledge John Donovan, who has been by my side since the beginning of this journey, and without his support, I would not be receiving this honor today.”
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Robert played hockey and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of New Haven in Connecticut. In 2009, Robert became majority owner and president of the Lancers. In 2010, he was awarded the USHL's Executive of the Year and the Lancers were named Organization of the Year. Under Robert's leadership, more than 150 Lancer players earned NCAA Division I hockey scholarships and at least one player each year was selected in the NHL Amateur Draft, for a total of 23. Robert also was a major organizer of the Mutual of Omaha's Battles on Ice, an outdoor hockey doubleheader at TD Ameritrade Park featuring the Lancers vs. the Lincoln Stars and UNO vs. North Dakota.
Robert is the 28th individual to be inducted into the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame, which was established in 1961. Recipients include players, coaches or builders who have made significant contributions to the heritage of hockey in the Omaha community.
The event, which is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. on April 13, is open to the public. Tickets are $25 each or $200 for a table of eight. Reservations must be made by April 9 by phoning 402-934-6263.
The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.
The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame was first founded in 1960 by Omaha World-Herald sportswriter Robert Phipps and Omaha Knight general manager Ken Wilson. After the induction of Gordie Howe in 1961, there were no further additions to the Hall of Fame. In 2001, the organization was re-founded by Gary Anderson and Jim Semerad. Since then, more than two dozen members have been added to the list.
The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that has donated over $43,000 to charity. The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation is made up of nine individuals who serve on a volunteer board. Its primary focus has been to recognize individuals who have made lasting contributions to Omaha’s hockey heritage. Those honored have been players, coaches, or builders.
In 2003, the Motto McLean Service to Hockey Award was started, honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport through their longtime service to the sport.
CONTACT: David Brisson, 402-598-9198