PrairieThunder hosts Dayton before hitting the road
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Bloomington PrairieThunder, looking to widen its lead over Dayton for the fourth and final postseason berth in the International Hockey League playoffs, faces the Gems at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The PrairieThunder, which split a pair of decisions last week, owns a 22-21-2-5 record (51 points). Dayton has a 20-31-3-1 mark (44 points) and is tied for fifth with Quad City. The Gems have lost two straight and five of their last six.
Wednesday's game marks the final home game until March 5 for the PrairieThunder, which plays seven of its next eight games on the road. Bloomington has a rugged three-game grind following the contest against Dayton. The PrairieThunder is at Flint on Friday (6:30 p.m.) before traveling to league-leading Muskegon on Saturday (6 p.m.) and ending in Quad City on Sunday (4:05 p.m.)
The PrairieThunder owns a 6-1-0-1 record against Dayton, including a 3-1 record at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Bloomington has won two straight over the Gems.
Bloomington's Jon Booras and Craig Macdonald enter the game third and fourth in the league in scoring with 58 and 57 points, respectively. Macdonald is first in the league in power play goals with 11 and game-winning goals with seven. He is second in goals scored with 27. Booras is second in overall assists with 39 and power play assists with 17.
Meanwhile, the PrairieThunder's Jason Lepine has climbed into second in overall scoring among defensemen with 34 points on seven goals and 27 assists, which also rank second. Lepine tops all defensemen in the league in power play assists with 15. Teammate Matthew Spiller is third among defensemen with five power play goals.
The hottest player on the PrairieThunder is forward Zac Pearson, who has scored at least one goal in the last four games and has tallied five of the team's last nine goals.
The PrairieThunder has an 18-6-0-2 record on the three teams behind it in the standings and a 4-15-2-3 mark on the three teams ahead of it in the standings. Bloomington has 14 of its remaining 26 games against the three teams (Flint six, Quad City five and Dayton three) trying to catch it in the standings.
Wednesday offers a $2 price tag on hot dogs, draught beer, soda and popcorn for fans. Tickets for all PrairieThunder games are available at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum box office, calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or 309-585-0507, ext. 304.
Wednesday game and all three road games can be heard on WTRX (93.7 FM). Greg Halbleib has the call.
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