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Gillis earns Player of the Week award

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Defenseman Ryan Gillis is the first recipient of the PrairieThunder "Player of the Week" award, courtesy of Bloomington's Lone Star Restaurant.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Gillis earned the weekly honor by recording three points on his first goal of the season and two assists in four games last week. For the season, Gillis has one goal and four assists for five points.

The PrairieThunder returns to action Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. United Hockey League contest at Rockford. Its next home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
 

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PrairieThunder in the community

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - It was literally raining teddy bears and stuffed animals Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

Over 1,000 teddy bears or stuffed animals were tossed onto the ice after Mathieu Brunelle scored the Bloomington PrairieThunder's first goal in a 4-3 shootout victory over Rockford as part of the team's "Teddy Toss Night"

The teddy bears and stuffed animals were collected and donated to the McLean County's "Toys for Tots" campaign, which the PrairieThunder is honorary chairpersons this year.

"We were extremely pleased with the response by the fans," said Jerry McBurney, the general manager of the PrairieThunder. "Not only did we pick up a number of stuffed animals from the ice, but we had a number of people drop them off at our office."

The "Teddy Toss" was just one in a number of community services ventures the PrairieThunder has or will participated in.

Last month the PrairieThunder held a canned food drive at its game and collected nearly 1,000 canned goods or non-perishable items, which were given to the Clare House.

And last week the PrairieThunder held "NASCAR Night" and the team wore specially designed game jerseys to go with the NASCAR theme. Those jerseys were then auctioned off following the game.

Nearly $10,000 worth of game tickets to future PrairieThunder games was donated to the charity of choice of the people who purchased jerseys.

Those organizations benefiting included St. Jude's Children's Research, Toys for Tots, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Home Sweet Home Mission, Baby Fold, McLean County Humane Society, Towanda Boy Scouts, American Diabetes Association, United Way, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and OSF Hospice.

The next PrairieThunder project is the "Coats for Kids" which takes place Friday (Dec. 15) at the 7:05 p.m. United Hockey League game against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum..

The PrairieThunder is partnering with the Coliseum and the Salvation Army to collect new or gently-worn winter coats as hockey fans enter the building.

"We are excited to work with the PrairieThunder in their first season and look forward to a successful drive," said Scott Shelbourn, the captain of the Salvation Army. The coats collected will help those in need in McLean County."

Last year the Salvation Army collected and distributed over 700 coats. For more information about the "Coats for Kids" program, contact Kelli Reecer at 309-829-9476.

"As a new member of the Twin Cities, we feel it is very important to be involved in as many events as possible," said McBurney.

The PrairieThunder also has sent several players to speak at schools, community functions, meet and greets in and around the Bloomington-Normal area.

"Our players and coaches enjoy getting out in the community and becoming acquainted with folks in Central Illinois," added McBurney. "None of our players are from this area, but they have all found the people they have come in contact with to be very hospitable and easy to get to know. They are enjoying their time here."

To schedule PrairieThunder player appearances, contact Patrick Kelly at 309-434-2664 or Melissa Ash at 309-434-2662.

The PrairieThunder returns to action Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. United Hockey League contest at Rockford. Its next home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
 

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PrairieThunder Kids Club to meet

The Bloomington PrairieThunder Godfather's Kids Club will meet Thursday, Dec. 28, at Godfather's Pizza on College Avenue in Normal from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Kids Club members will have an opportunity to meet some of the PrairieThunder players and have pictures taken with the players. Chip, the PrairieThunder mascot, also will be in attendance.

Children, who are not Kids Club members, can join at the event. Godfather's Pizza will have medium pizzas available at the event for $5.99.

For more information, contact Patrick Kelly at 309-434-2664.

The PrairieThunder returns to action Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. United Hockey League contest at Rockford. Its next home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
 

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Thunder trades Lawmaster

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Bloomington PrairieThunder obtained center Shawn Snider from the Kalamazoo Wings for veteran defenseman Jason Lawmaster in a United Hockey League trade on Monday.

The 25-year-old Snider is tied for 20th in the league in scoring with 19 points on four goals and 15 assists. He has attempted 54 shots on goal in 23 games.

"Obviously scoring has been a problem for us," said PrairieThunder coach Derek Booth. "Shawn is a strong centerman with a lot of speed. He's a guy, who will be leading the team in points.

"Defensively, we feel like we are in pretty good shape, so we felt like we needed to do something to shore up our offense."

The PrairieThunder's is averaging 2.1 goals per game and its leading scorer is Tyler Rennette with 14 points. Rennette is currently on the injured reserve list.

Snider is in his second year in professional hockey. He began his career with the Phoenix Roadrunners in the ECHL last year and was a teammate of Bloomington's B.J. Gaustad. He scored 12 goals and had 14 assists in 70 games for 26 points at Phoenix.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Snider played in college at St. Francis Xavier University and is a native of Fergus, Ontario.

Lawmaster played in 14 games for the PrairieThunder this season, scoring three goals with two assists for five points. The eighth-year pro led the team in penalty minutes with 59 and hasn't played a game since being handed a three-game suspension by the UHL for a gross misconduct penalty at the end of the Flint game on Nov. 24.

The PrairieThunder returns to action Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. United Hockey League contest at Rockford. Its next home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
 

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‘Coats for Kids' drive set for Saturday

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The "Coats for Kids" drive, sponsored by the Bloomington PrairieThunder and U.S. Cellular Coliseum in conjunction with the Salvation Army, will be held Friday (Dec. 15) at the 7:05 p.m. United Hockey League game against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum..

Hockey enthusiasts are being asked to donate new or gently-worn winter coats as they enter the building.

"We are excited to work with the PrairieThunder in their first season and look forward to a successful drive," said Scott Shelbourn, the captain of the Salvation Army. The coats collected will help those in need in McLean County."

Last year the Salvation Army collected and distributed over 700 coats. For more information about the "Coats for Kids" program, contact Kelli Reecer at 309-829-9476.

The PrairieThunder returns to action Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. United Hockey League contest at Rockford. Its next home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Muskegon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
 

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K-Wings taking the Law into their own hands

Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the United Hockey League and 2005-06 Central Division, Tarry Cup and Colonial Cup Champions, announce the completion of a trade with the Bloomington PrairieThunder. In the deal, Kalamazoo acquires forward Jason Lawmaster; in return Bloomington will receive forward Shawn Snider.

Known for his physical prowess, Lawmaster gives Kalamazoo a player that is effective at both forward or on the blue line. In his eight seasons of professional hockey, Lawmaster is best known by K-Wing fans for the three seasons he spent with the Muskegon Fury.

"We (K-Wings) want physical players that can also produce offensively and that's what he (Lawmaster) has done in his career," said Vice President/General Manager Paul L. Pickard. "The trade also gives us another player that has championship experience on his resume."

The native of Westland, Michigan has four championship rings to his name, including two in the UHL with the Muskegon Fury (2003-04, 2004-05). During the 1999-00 season, Lawmaster was a member of the Kelly Cup Champions (ECHL) Peoria Rivermen. Lawmaster also won a championship in the Ontario Hockey League with the Belleville Bulls (1998-99).

Besides playing in both the ECHL and UHL, Lawmaster has skated in 61 games in the American Hockey League.
 

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Goaltenders playing big roles for UHL teams

LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO --- Goaltending plays a major part in the success of any hockey club, and several United Hockey League (UHL) goaltenders are filling that role in a big way during recent games.

Muskegon Fury netminder Clayton Pool continues his hot start to the season and leads all league goaltenders with a 1.83 goals against average (GAA), a .938 save percentage (SPCT), and has the most wins (15). He has yet to lose a road game this season (9-0-0).

Veterans Tom Askey (11-6-0) in Kalamazoo and Kevin St. Pierre (13-5-0) in Fort Wayne have filled the most time in the crease for their respective clubs, but both have been supported by promising young back-ups. Kalamazoo's Ryan Nie earned his first professional shutout when he stopped all 26 shots in the 4-0 win vs. Port Huron on Sunday. The rookie currently has a 4-2-0 record, a 2.00 GAA, and a .934 SPCT in seven appearances this season. Fort Wayne's Dan McWhinney has watched St. Pierre make nine straight starts, but has been solid when called upon to help the Komets. Both youngsters have stopped all four shooters in their first appearance in professional shootouts this season.

Rockford's Frederic Cloutier has been one of the hottest goaltenders as of late. In his last nine games, he has posted a 1.78 GAA and .940 SPCT. His performance has also earned him two call-ups to the American Hockey League (AHL) this season.

Chicago's Marty Magers and Elmira's Kris Tebbs have been the "workhorse" for their teams. They rank second and third, respectively, among UHL goaltenders in minutes played. Tebbs leads the league with 612 saves while Magers sits behind him with 578 saves.

Dustin Traylen of Port Huron has earned the confidence of his team, especially on home ice. Prior to Saturday night, he had allowed just one goal at home over his last three games and has won three of his past four starts in his home arena.

Quad City's Jason Tapp has played a key part in the recent six-game unbeaten streak for the Mallards. In his last five starts, he has a 4-0-1 record, a 1.80 GAA, and a .946 SPCT.

FLYING BEARS - UHL teams and their fans are doing their part to help make the holidays even more special in their local communities. Several teams have held "Teddy Bear Toss Night" in recent games. Rockford fans tossed 1,569 stuffed toys on the ice during Friday's game. Bloomington and Elmira both held similar events on Saturday while Port Huron collected stuffed toys on Sunday. The toys will be donated to organizations for distribution to underprivileged children, or the toys will be personally delivered by players to children in local hospitals. Kalamazoo has a "Teddy Bear Toss" scheduled for this coming Saturday and other UHL teams have special charitable functions scheduled throughout the holiday season.

EVERYONE IS A WINNER - Every team in the UHL earned at least one victory during the week. It was only the second week this season that feat has been accomplished.

TEAM EFFORT - Kalamazoo goaltender Tom Askey earned an assist in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Flint. Every member of the team, including goaltenders, now has recorded a point this season. The Kalamazoo Wings are the only team in the UHL with this distinction.

SHOOTOUT DROUGHT - With the UHL nearly a third of the way through the regular season schedule, only 12 contests have gone to the shootout this season. That number is just over 10% of UHL games. Last season, over 38% of league games were decided by the shootout. The Muskegon Fury were the last team to have a game end in a shootout this season when they defeated Port Huron 5-4 in the extra session on Saturday.

FAMILIAR SCORE - Three of the last four games between Kalamazoo and Port Huron have ended with a 4-0 final score. Kalamazoo has claimed victory in two of those games.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Bloomington PrairieThunder - (1-2-0) - The PrairieThunder won their second shootout victory in as many attempts with the 4-3 shootout victory vs. Quad City on Saturday...Forward Alex Goupil scored in the shootout. He has scored in both shootout attempts this season...Bloomington was 1 for 35 on the power play prior to Saturday, but broke that slump with three power play goals in the win...The PrairieThunder is 1-10-0 when the opposition scores first...The team has been outscored 28-13 in the second period.

Chicago Hounds - (1-3-0) - After scoring ten total goals in their previous two victories, Chicago has scored just three goals total in their three straight losses...Right wing Greg Koehler had his six-game point streak snapped in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Muskegon. He is now tied for the team lead in scoring...The Hounds scored two goals in a span of nine seconds during the third period of Wednesday's 5-1 win vs. Flint...Goaltender Marty Magers was 2:10 shy of recording his second shutout of the season in Wednesday's victory.

Elmira Jackals - (1-1-0) - Right wing Frank Littlejohn netted the 200th goal of his career in Friday's 3-2 win vs. Fort Wayne. The league leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season for Littlejohn also proved to be the game-winner... Captain Brent Cullaton recorded his 600th career point when he dished out an assist in Saturday's 5-3 loss... Defenseman Chris Mann has seven points (1g, 6a) in 22 games this season. He had seven points (1g, 6a) in 61 games played last season...Goaltender Kris Tebbs has started 14 consecutive games for the Jackals.

Flint Generals - (2-2-0) - Left wing Jeff Zehr has a goal in back-to-back games including the game-winner on Sunday vs. Bloomington...Zehr's power play goal in the first period on Sunday ended a 0 for 40 slump on the power play that lasted over 16 periods of play for the Generals...Defenseman Gerard Miller leads the team in scoring with 15 points (6g, 9a)... The Generals have won three of their last four on home ice...Defenseman Greg Snitowsky scored a goal in just his second game with the club after being signed late in the week.

Fort Wayne Komets - (1-1-0) - The Komets have their best 20-game start in UHL history (14-6-0)...Goaltender Kevin St. Pierre has made nine straight starts...Center J.C. Ruid is riding a four-game point streak. He registered his second "hat trick" (3g) of the season on Saturday...On home ice, the Komets have allowed just five power play goals to lead the league in home penalty killing (93.8%)... Defenseman Guy Dupuis ranks fifth in the UHL with 20 assists...The Komets average the second most penalty minutes per game in the league (36.1).

Kalamazoo Wings - (2-1-0) - Kalamazoo has won four straight games on the road...Right wing Justin Cross leads all UHL rookies with 12 goals...Forward Glenn Detulleo played his 300th career professional game on Saturday... The K-Wings have a 5-1-0 record on Sundays this season...Left wing Nick Bootland is one game-winning goal shy of tying the K-Wings all-time record of 11...Kalamazoo has only given up 12 power goals this season to lead the UHL in penalty killing (93.3%)...Center Kory Karlander is three assists shy of 300 for his career.

Muskegon Fury - (3-0-0) - The Muskegon Fury have won seven straight on the road, one shy of tying the team record...The club is 9-0-0 vs. Western Conference opponents...Muskegon has outscored their opponents 44-16 in the second period this season...Right wing Rustyn Dolyny is riding an 11-game point streak. He has a league season high ten-game assist streak...Left wing Mike Watt is riding a six-game scoring streak...Dating back to last season, the Fury are unbeaten in regulation in their last 14 games (11-0-3) vs. Port Huron.

Port Huron Flags - (1-1-1) - After trailing 1-0 through two periods on Friday, the Flags scored four goals in the third period to defeat Rockford 4-1...After missing more than a month due to injury, left wing Colt King scored five points (3g, 2a) in his first two games back in the lineup...The Flags play four games in five nights during the upcoming week with three straight at home over the weekend...Port Huron currently leads the UHL with 234 minor penalties this season...Defenseman B.J. Adams has an even or better plus/minus rating in 17 of 22 games this season.

Quad City Mallards - (1-0-1) - The Mallards are unbeaten in regulation over their last six games (4-0-2). That matches their streak of six unbeaten (6-0-0) to finish the 2005-06 regular season. Their longest unbeaten streak before that was 11 games (10-0-1) during the 2003-04 season...All seven goals by the Mallards over the weekend were scored by different players...Forward David Herring dished out an assist on Friday in his first game with the team since being acquired in a trade...Defenseman Mathieu Wathier netted his first goal with the team on Friday.

Rockford IceHogs - (2-1-0) - Defenseman Nathan Lutz has six assists over his last six games...Seven of the next 11 games for the club are on home ice...Defenseman Mike Letizia is the only player on the team to have a plus rating (plus-4) over the past five games...Center Mike Doyle netted the game-winning goal in both victories this week. He has a goal in three of the last four games...Rockford held Chicago to just three shots in the second period in Saturday's 3-1 win...The IceHogs are 1-4-0 vs. Eastern Conference opponents on the road this season.
 

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UHL announces suspensions from Elmira-Fort Wayne game

LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO --- The United Hockey League (UHL) announced Tuesday the following suspensions resulting from team and player actions during UHL Game #104, Fort Wayne @ Elmira, on Friday, December 8th.

Elmira Jackals right wing Curtis Tidball has been suspended six (6) games for his actions in an altercation. The suspension is being issued under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline). Tidball will be ineligible to participate in the following games:

UHL Game #118, Elmira @ Port Huron, on Friday, December 15th

UHL Game #122, Elmira @ Flint, on Saturday, December 16th

UHL Game #126, Elmira @ Kalamazoo, on Sunday, December 17th

UHL Game #130, Elmira @ Fort Wayne, on Friday, December 22nd

UHL Game #134, Elmira @ Chicago, on Saturday, December 23rd

UHL Game #162, Fort Wayne @ Elmira, on Wednesday, January 3rd

He was fined an undisclosed amount.

Elmira Jackals right wing Chanse Fitzpatrick has been suspended two (2) games for his actions in an altercation. The suspension is being issued under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline). Fitzpatrick will be ineligible to participate in the following games:

UHL Game #130, Elmira @ Fort Wayne, on Friday, December 22nd

UHL Game #162, Fort Wayne @ Elmira, on Wednesday, January 3rd

He was fined an undisclosed amount

The coaching staffs of both the Fort Wayne Komets and Elmira Jackals were issued undisclosed fines under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline).

Both organizations were issued undisclosed fines under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline).

Elmira Jackals coach Robbie Nichols is being suspended three (3) games under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline) for being in a restricted area off the ice.

Fort Wayne Komets general manager David Franke was issued an undisclosed fine under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline) for being in a restricted area off the ice.

Fort Wayne Komets center Bruce Richardson was issued an undisclosed fine under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline) for being in a restricted area off the ice.

Elmira Jackals defenseman Milan Maslonka has been suspended three (3) games for his actions in an altercation. The suspension is being issued under Rule 29 (Supplementary Discipline). Maslonka will be ineligible to participate in the following games:

UHL Game #118, Elmira @ Port Huron, on Friday, December 15th

UHL Game #122, Elmira @ Flint, on Saturday, December 16th

UHL Game #126, Elmira @ Kalamazoo, on Sunday, December 17th

In addition, Maslonka has been suspended seven (7) games for receiving a Match Penalty during UHL Game #107, Fort Wayne @ Elmira, on Saturday, December 9th. The suspension is being issued under Rule 59.4 (Cross-Checking). He will be ineligible to participate in the following games:

UHL Game #130, Elmira @ Fort Wayne, on Friday, December 22nd

UHL Game #134, Elmira @ Chicago, on Saturday, December 23rd

UHL Game #148, Port Huron @ Elmira, on Friday, December 29th

UHL Game #153, Elmira @ Port Huron, on Saturday, December 30th

UHL Game #156, Elmira @ Port Huron, on Sunday, December 31st

UHL Game #162, Fort Wayne @ Elmira, on Wednesday, January 3rd

UHL Game #166, Elmira @ Flint, on Friday, January 5th

He was fined an undisclosed amount.

"Actions of this nature will not be tolerated in this league," stated Richard Brosal, UHL President/CEO. "We can accept hard-hitting and toughness within the realm of play, but these actions went beyond those boundaries. Safety of players is very important and we do not want that compromised. These suspensions and fines send the message that this type of behavior is unacceptable in the UHL."
 

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Jackals Bring Good Cheer To The Community

Elmira, NY - The Elmira Jackals would like to thank all of their wonderful supporters who donated to the Toy and Teddy Bear collection during last weekends games at First Arena.

After collecting a mountain of toys and teddy bears, the Jackals spent Monday and Tuesday this week delivering these wonderful gifts to children at both St. Joseph's Hospital and Guthrie/Corning Hospital. They also stopped by Founders Pavilion in Corning to visit some of the residents and will attend a Glove House holiday party next week to pass out more toys and teddy bears.

"We are grateful to our fans for being so generous in their donations," said Jackals General Manager Robbie S. Nichols. "We collected lots of toys and teddy bears and I wish we could share the looks on all the faces we brightened over the past two days. Thank you to everyone who joined us in the Christmas spirit."

The Jackals will be holding a Live Auction for their Special Christmas Game-Worn Jerseys Wednesday night after the conclusion of the Jackals vs. Port Huron Flags game at First Arena. This year the Jackals are also allowing Auction Bids to be presented in advance by Phone or Email. Bids can be submitted by calling the Jackals office at 607-734-PUCK or by email at [email protected] . All advance auction bids must include a maximum bid for each jersey, the specific player(s) name and a valid credit card number to charge if you successfully win the auction. All bids, phone or email, must be received by 3:00 pm on Wednesday (12/13/06).

The Jackals host the Port Huron Flags at 7:00 pm on Wednesday at First Arena and then will head out on the road for three games in Michigan over the weekend. Friday Elmira is in Port Huron, Saturday the Jackals head to Flint, then Sunday a long anticipated rematch with the Kalamazoo Wings.

FIRST ARENA UPCOMING EVENTS

TEN - A Tribute to Pearl Jam & Haunted by Angels will be performing live at First Arena on Friday December 15th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are just $10.00 and are on sale now at the First Arena Box Office; limited floor seats available.

Open MRI Presents...Legends Christmas Spectacular, Saturday December 16th at First Arena. The show starts at 7:30 pm and features top notched artist impersonators of Shania Twain, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Neil Diamond. Tickets range from $10.00 to $25.00 and are on sale now at the First Arena Box Office. For more information please contact the First Arena at 607-734-PUCK.

FIRST ARENA REC RINK

The ice is HOT at First Arena - Visit our website for a complete list of Public Skating times and Arena Programs at www.firstarena.com - Come in to the COOL place to be!

The First Arena Rec Rink offers public skating, skating lessons, hockey programs, figure skating, birthday parties, and much more....
 

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PrairieThunder faces Rockford twice on road; Muskegon at home

The Bloomington PrairieThunder (7-15-0, 14 points) and the Rockford IceHogs (11-9-2, 24 points) meet twice this week at the Rockford Metro Centre (Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Sandwiched in between is a home game against United Hockey League leader Muskegon (22-3-0, 44 points at U.S. Cellular Coliseum on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

- The PrairieThunder and Rockford have met four times this season with Rockford holding a 3-1 advantage in Western Conference action. Ironically, the PrairieThunder's lone win came in Rockford, 4-3, in a shootout on Nov. 17.

- The PrairieThunder has played Muskegon twice, losing both games (7-3 in Muskegon and 7-1 in Bloomington). The teams have not met since Oct. 2.

- Rockford has won two of its last three games, while Muskegon has won 6 of its last seven, including three straight.

- The PrairieThunder has a 5-6 record at U.S. Cellular Coliseum and a 2-9 record on the road.

- Bloomington is 2-0 in shootout decisions. Forward Alex Goupil is 2-2 in shootouts. Jon Jankus is 1-1, including the game winner vs. Quad City last week, while B.J. Gaustad is 1-1, Mathieu Brunelle 1-1, Jarad Bourassa 0-1, and Tyler Rennette 0-1.

- Goalies Steffan Braunlich and Jeff Reynaert each have a shootout victory.

- The PrairieThunder has a 5-7 record against Western Conference teams and a 2-8 record against Eastern Conference teams. The PrairieThunder competes in the Western Conference of the UHL with the Fort Wayne Komets, the Quad City Mallards, the Chicago Hounds and Rockford IceHogs. Competing in the Eastern Conference are the Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals, the Flint (Mich.) Generals, the Port Huron (Mich.) Flags, the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wings and the Muskegon (Mich.) Fury .

- The PrairieThunder posted a 1-5 record in October; 5-6 in November and 1-4 in December.

- Each time the PrairieThunder scores four or more goals, their fans are treated to free Big Mac's the day following the game at the seven Twin Cities McDonalds. Thus far the PrairieThunder has scored four or more goals four times.

- PrairieThunder franchise firsts: First goal - Tyler Rennette (Oct. 13 at Muskegon), First goal at U.S. Cellular Coliseum - Andre Niec (Oct. 14 vs. Fort Wayne), Largest home crowd - 5,102 (Oct. 14 vs. Fort Wayne).

PrairieThunder acquires services of Snider

- The Bloomington PrairieThunder obtained center Shawn Snider from the Kalamazoo Wings for veteran defenseman Jason Lawmaster in a United Hockey League trade on Monday. The 25-year-old Snider is tied for 20th in the league in scoring with 19 points on four goals and 15 assists. He has attempted 54 shots on goal in 23 games.

"Obviously scoring has been a problem for us," said PrairieThunder coach Derek Booth. "Shawn is a strong centerman with a lot of speed. He's a guy, who will be leading the team in points.
"Defensively, we feel like we are in pretty good shape, so we felt like we needed to do something to shore up our offense."

The PrairieThunder's is averaging 2.1 goals per game and its leading scorer is Tyler Rennette with 14 points. Rennette is currently on the injured reserve list.

Snider is in his second year in professional hockey. He began his career with the Phoenix Roadrunners in the ECHL last year and was a teammate of Bloomington's B.J. Gaustad. He scored 12 goals and had 14 assists in 70 games for 26 points at Phoenix.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Snider played collegiately at St. Francis Xavier University and is a native of Fergus, Ontario.
Last time out

Jeff Zehr scored two goals to lead the Flint Generals to a 4-2 victory over the Bloomington PrairieThunder in a United Hockey League game Sunday afternoon at Perani's Stadium before 2,531 people.

Zehr scored his first goal in the first period on a powerplay 15:07 into the game with assists from Shaun Fisher and Tony Tuzzolino.

The Generals added their second goal in the second period on Gerald Miller's powerplay goal 5:47 into the action. He was assisted by Bobby Reynolds and Martin Ondrej.

Zehr's second goal gave the Generals a 3-0 lead 7:10 into the third period. Mike Kinnie and Tuzzolino had the assists.

The PrairieThunder finally got untracked in the third period as Alex Goupil scored with 7:42 remaining. He was assisted by B.J. Gaustad. Ryan Gillis, who then scored his first goal of the season for the PrairieThunder with 6:42 left to pull the team within 3-2.

However, seven seconds later, Flint's Gerg Snitowsky scored to give the Generals an insurmountable lead. The Generals have less shots on the goal than the PrairieThunder , Bloomington's record dropped to 7-15-0. The Generals have a 10-14-2 record.

Against Rockford

- Oct. 21 - Rockford 5, Bloomington 3 (at Bloomington)
- Nov. 3 - Rockford 5, Bloomington 1 (at Bloomington)
- Nov. 17 - Bloomington 4, Rockford 3 SO (at Rockford)
- Dec. 6 - Rockford 2, Bloomington 1 (at Bloomington)

Against Muskegon

- Oct. 13 - Muskegon 7, Bloomington 3 (at Muskegon)
- Oct. 20 - Muskegon 7, Bloomington 1 (at Bloomington)

The coaches

- The PrairieThunder is coached by Derek Booth, the Southern Professional Hockey League Coach of the Year last season at Fayetteville (NC). The FireAntz compiled a 31-19 record last season and advanced to the league playoffs. This is Booth's third year as a head coach and he has a 70-58 career record including this season.
- Rockford is coached by Steve Martinson and Muskegon is coached by Bruce Ramsey

PrairieThunder leaders
- Goals scored - Alex Goupil - 6
- Assists - Shawn Snider - 15
- Points - Shawn Snider - 19
- Shots - B.J. Gaustad - 72
- Penalty minutes - Mathieu Bruneele - 40
- Wins - Jeff Reynaert - 5
- Saves - Jeff Reynaert - 467
- Save percentage - Steffan Braunlich - .908

PrairiePrairie records:
Playing at home: 5-6 Scoring by periods by Bloomington:
Playing on the road: 2-9
Playing at night: 7-12 Bloomington 18 13 15 2 - 48
Playing during the day: 0-2 Opponents 21 28 28 0 - 77
PrairieThunder scores first: 6-5
Opponent scores first: 1-10
PrairieThunder leads after 1st period: 4-2
Opponent leads after 1st period: 0-6
PrairieThunder leads after 2nd period: 4-1
Opponent leads after 2nd period: 1-11
Game goes into shootout: 2-0
One-goal games: 4-3
PrairieThunder has more shots on goal: 4-4
Opponent has more shots on goal: 3-11
PrairieThunder has less penalty minutes: 2-2
Opponent has less penalty minutes: 3-8
PrairieThunder has more power plays: 3-2
Opponent has more power plays: 2-11
Power play opportunities: Bloomington 15-129; Opponents - 22-145
Shorthanded goals: Bloomington 2; Opponents 3
Goals per game average: 2.1
Last 10 games: 2-8
Last 5 games: 1-4

Recent PrairieThunder transactions

- Dec. 11 - Acquired center Shawn Snider from Kalamazoo for defenseman Jason Lawmaster
- Dec. 11 - Waived goalie Jorge Alves
- Dec. 11 - Goalie Steffan Braunlich reassigned from Peoria (AHL)
- Dec. 7 - Goalie Steffan Braunlich reassigned to Peoria (AHL)
- Dec. 2 - Forward B.J. Gaustad reassigned from Iowa (AHL)
- Dec. 1 - Forward B.J. Gaustad reassigned to Iowa (AHL)

PrairieThunder on injured reserve

- Center Tyler Rennette - 7 day (medical)
- Center Trevor Baker - 21 day (sports hernia)
- Defenseman Mark Phenow - 21-day (sports hernia)

Coming up next for the PrairieThunder

- Wednesday - PrairieThunder at Rockford, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday - Muskegon at PrairieThunder, 7:05 p.m.
- Saturday - PrairieThunder at Rockford, 7:05 p.m.
- Dec. 20 - PrairieThunder at Quad City, 7 p.m.
- Dec. 22 - PrairieThunder at Port Huron, 6:30 p.m.
- Dec. 23 - PrairieThunder at Muskegon, 6:30 p.m.
- Dec. 26 - Flint at PrairieThunder, 7:05 p.m.
- Dec. 29 - Fort Wayne at PrairieThunder, 7:05 p.m.
- Dec. 30 - PrairieThunder at Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
- Dec. 31 - Rockford at PrairieThunder, 6:05 p.m.


Upcoming Promotions

FRIDAY (Dec. 15) - Performance by the Bucket Boys, a group from the Chicago area that plays music on plastic buckets; $4 College Discount Night; Buy 2 Tickets and receive $5 by turning in a Pepsi products can at the box office

THURSDAY (DEC. 28) - Godfather's Kids Club at Godfather's Pizza on College Avenue in Normal. Club members will have a chance to meet PrairieThunder players from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Membership is still open by calling Patrick Kelly at 309-434-2664.
 
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