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Bloomington PrairieThunder
City: Bloomington, Illinois Flag of the United States
League: International Hockey League
Founded: 2006
Home Arena: U.S. Cellular Coliseum
Colors: Blue, gold, silver, white
Owner(s): Tim Leighton
General Manager: Jarrod Skalde & Bryan Bloodworth
Head Coach: Jarrod Skalde
Captain: Jon Booras
Media: WTRX-FM (93.7 FM)
Inaugural home opener (10/14/2006)

The Bloomington PrairieThunder are a team of the International Hockey League who started play in 2006 (when the league was called the United Hockey League). They play their home games at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois.

The PrairieThunder operated in their inaugural season under the ownership of John Butler, Mike Nelson, and Tony Lisman. On May 1, 2007, it was announced that Lisman would assume complete ownership of the team.



On September 12, 1999, John Butler and Mike Nelson, both of Bloomington, began formulating a plan to bring a minor league hockey team to Central Illinois. On August 18, 2004, ground was broken for the $37-million U.S. Cellular Coliseum, the arena that would become the home of the PrarieThunder. On September 20, 2005, the United Hockey League awarded John Butler and Mike Nelson a membership to obtain a franchise.

On February 1, 2006, a contest was announced to name the new hockey franchise and on February 23, 2006, the official name was announced. "PrarieThunder" refers to a train called "The Prairie Thunder" that passed through Bloomington in its early history. On July 20, 2006 the PrairieThunder unveiled their new team logo which features a charging bison smashing its hooves into a sheet of ice. The team's colors are navy, silver, old gold, and white.

  • October 13, 2006: the PrairieThunder played their first game in franchise history against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. They lost the contest 7-3.
  • October 14, 2006: the Prairie Thunder play their first home game at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum against the Fort Wayne Komets. This was also the PrairieThunder's first franchise regular season win as they won the contest 4-2 before a crowd of 5,102. Andre Neic scored the first goal at the US Cellular Coliseum at 4:20 in the first periord.
  • January 27, 2007: Largest crowd in team history 5,488 (as of Mar. 26, 2009)
  • February 17, 2007: Trevor Baker records the first hat trick in franchise history.
  • Jan. 12, 2008: Rookie goalie Loic Lacasse posts first shutout in franchise history in 2-0 win over Port Huron at U.S. Cellular Coliseum
  • April 5, 2008: PrairieThunder establish a professional hockey league record at all levels by scoring four goals in a 35-second span during the first period in a 9-4 win at Flint. Scoring the goals were Jon Booras, John Nail, Neil Clark and Brett Holmberg.
  • July 15, 2008: PrairieThunder defenseman Rob Guinn killed in auto accident in Iowa. This led the team to remember him on their jerseys and the ice during the 2008-2009 season.
  • December 27, 2008: Prairie Thunder center Don Parsons breaks the minor league career goals scored record with his 678th, passing former Flint General, Kevin Kerr.

Season by Season Records

Season Games Won Lost OTL SOL Points Goals
PIM Standing Playoffs
2006-07 76 25 45 6 56 201 285 1392 5th, West Out of Playoffs
2007-08 76 31 38 3 4 69 210 258 1711 6th Out of Playoffs


The Bloomington PrairieThunder were featured in the April 21, 2008 edition of Sports Illustrated. This was because they set a pro hockey record for the fastest four goal spurt. It took them just 35 seconds to score 4 goals against the Flint Generals on April 5th, 2008. This is faster than any level of pro hockey.

Coaching Staff

External links

PrarieThunder Hockey

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Bloomington Prairie Thunder. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "Bloomington Prairie Thunder" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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