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PrairieThunder in First, Face Tough Stretch

November 2, 2009 - International Hockey League 2 (IHL 2) - Bloomington PrairieThunder News Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The first-place Bloomington PrairieThunder begins its toughest stretch of the young season Wednesday when it meets Quad City at 7:05 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. It ends a string of four straight home games and begins a stretch of four games in five days, including three straight on the road.

The PrairieThunder, which has won four of its last five games, will be out to extend its three-game winning streak in International Hockey League action and gain some revenge against Port Huron and Muskegon. Bloomington opened the current season with a blistering 9-3 setback at Muskegon in the opener for both teams.

Port Huron was a thorn in the PrairieThunder's side last season, claiming 12 victories in 15 meetings. Bloomington won just one time in eight games on the IceHawks' home ice.

Quad City and Bloomington meet for the first time this season, although they played twice in the exhibition season with the Mallards claiming a pair of one-goal victories.

While Quad City is one of two new teams in the IHL this season along with Dayton, the Mallards have roosted in Bloomington before. During the PrairieThunder's first year of existence in 2006-07, both teams competed in the United Hockey League. The Mallards won the season series 7-3-0-1, and were 3-2-0-1 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The Mallards enter the game with a 1-2-0-0 record, but their lone victory was on the road. The teams will face each other 17 times this season and PrairieThunder fans will get the opportunity to see two former Bloomington players - Mike Zbriger and Travis Granbois - skate for Quad City.

Bloomington also has won all three of its games at U.S. Cellular Coliseum this season, and four straight dating back to last season. The three straight victories at home to start the season equals the team record set in 2007-08.

The longest overall home winning streak is seven, which was set last season. The longest undefeated overall streak at home is nine, also set a year ago. The 4-2 start matches the team record that was established last year.

*No. 50 at home:* When the PrairieThunder defeated Flint at home on Saturday, it marked the 50th win in franchise history at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Bloomington has a 50-58-6-3 all-time at home.

*PrairieThunder leaders:** *Left wing Craig Macdonald led the team and the league in scoring in October with nine points (2 goals, 7 assists). He scored five points in the last two games and has scored multiple points in five of the six games...Center Ryan Finnerty has scored at least one point in all six of the team's games for seven points (2 goals, 5 assists)...Goalie Paulo Colaiacovo has won three straight games and leads the league with four victories. He has stopped 80 of 86 shots during the streak for a.930 save percentage and allowed just two goals per game.

*Chuck those Ducks: *Every time the PrairieThunder plays Quad City at U.S. Cellular Coliseum this season, fans will have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of yellow Ducks for $2, compliments of Bodies In Balance, to chuck during the second intermission "Chuck a Duck" promotion. The yellow ducks work the same as the regular "Chuck a Puck" promotion, but additional prizes will be awarded to "Duck Chuckers" whose ducks are randomly selected.

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