Matt Thurber, a native of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, came to Omaha at age 15 to play hockey for the Omaha Lancers. He sits 12th in all time total points in the Lancers storied history, and 5th in assists. 

Still, his time in Omaha was marked by tragedy, when his mother, Cathy, died from complications from outpatient surgery. It was at the urging of his father, Ray, that he returned to the Lancers.

Upon his return, in 2008, Matt was part of the Lancers team that won the United States Hockey League championship. He led the team in assists with 41, and his 14 goals made him the team’s third-leading scorer.

Matt Thurber went on to play hockey in college, and afterward, for the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL.

After an unfortunate health condition ended his pro career, he returned to Omaha to pursue his passion, which was helping youth hockey players in the community. 

In May, 2018, Matt's life was cut short at the young age of 29. He leaves behind his wife and young daughter who he dearly loved. 

This tournament named in his honor will raise money for his family, a non-profit set up in his name to help kids continue playing sports after going through a tragedy, and local youth hockey organizations. With your help, Matt's legacy will live on forever through the game he loved. We look forward to welcoming all to Omaha to celebrate Matt Thurber.