Bloomington Thunder (SPHL)

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Bloomington Thunder
2013–14 SPHL season
Bloo Thunder.png
City Bloomington, Illinois
League Southern Professional Hockey League
Operated 2011–2014
Home arena U.S. Cellular Coliseum
Purple, Black, Silver, White
Owner(s) Illinois Pro Sports, LLC
Head coach Greg Pankewicz
Captain Travis Granbois
Media WJBC-FM (93.7 FM)
Franchise history
2011–2013 Bloomington Blaze (CHL)
2013–2014 Bloomington Thunder (SPHL)

The Bloomington Thunder were a minor league ice hockey team that was a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Based in Bloomington, Illinois, the Thunder played their home games at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, located in downtown Bloomington. After two years in the Central Hockey League, the Thunder played under new ownership and in the Southern Professional Hockey League in the 2013–14 season.[1]

On May 15, 2013, it was announced that the Thunder, along with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen, would move to the Southern Professional Hockey League for the 2013–14 season. The Rivermen had been notified that the Vancouver Canucks, who had purchased the team a month earlier, would not keep them in Peoria. The two teams will reportedly be owned by two former Rivermen executives, John Butler, Bart Rogers and David Holt with financial backing from former Rivermen owner Bruce Saurs.[1]

Though the Thunder played at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, the franchise was not a continuation of the PrairieThunder franchise. The former head coach, Jason Christie, resigned before the season started. He is now the Coach for the Ontario Reign of the ECHL.

The Bloomington Thunder were coached by former Dayton Gems coach Brian Gratz. Gratz had been the head coach of the Central Hockey League affiliate Dayton Gems for the past two years. The Gems went a combined 55-58-19 in his tenure there.

The Bloomington Thunder organization included a junior hockey team with membership to the Midwest Junior Hockey League, MWJHL. The 2012-2013 season is inaugural season for the MWJHL.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Eminian, Dave (May 13, 2013). "Peoria to join SPHL under former Rivermen management team". Peoria Journal Star. Archived from the original on May 19, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 

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