Carolina and Danbury will play first two games in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- The Federal Prospects Hockey League announced in a press conference on Wednesday that the Carolina Thunderbirds and the Danbury Hat Tricks will play two neutral-site games in Bloomington.

The two teams will face off Friday, Jan. 3, and Saturday, Jan. 4, at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

On Friday, Danbury will act as the home team and on Saturday Carolina will serve as home.

Originally, Carolina was slated to play Battle Creek in Michigan on those dates, but those games have been cancelled. The Thunderbirds will now play Battle Creek seven times this season instead of nine, and will play Danbury seven times instead of five.

The two teams split a weekend series on Nov. 8 and 9 with the Hat Tricks scoring their first franchise win 3-2 in the first game and the Thunderbirds earning their fifth win of the season 6-5 on Saturday.

These two games will be the first of three the FPHL will play in Bloomington. On March 21, Port Huron will play Danville to wrap up the trio of contests.

Bloomington’s last professional hockey team was the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Bloomington Thunder. The Thunder played in Grossinger Motors Arena (then U.S. Cellular Coliseum) from 2011-2014.

From 2014-2019 the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the USHL played their home games in Bloomington, but suspended operations prior to this season.