BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Central Illinois Flying Aces announced on Wednesday the date and special guests for this season’s Chicago Blackhawks Night.
This year’s event will take place on Friday, March 9 when the Flying Aces host the Muskegon Lumberjacks at Grossinger Motors Arena. Former Blackhawks forward and 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Ben Eager will be in attendance that night along with the Blackhawks' official mascot Tommy Hawk.
A key piece of the Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup Championship in the 2009-10 season, Eager will be making his first-ever appearance at Grossinger Motors Arena. Prior to the start of the Flying Aces contest against Muskegon, Eager will drop the puck in a ceremonial faceoff. He will then sign autographs for fans during the first period through the first intermission and participate in fan activities throughout the night.
Making his second straight appearance for Blackhawks Night, Tommy Hawk will once again be on hand to entertain fans throughout the game. Last season, Tommy Hawk made an appearance at Chicago Blackhawks Night for the first time and was an instant hit with his crowd prompts, dancing and other mascot antics.
The Flying Aces have also added a giveaway for that game, as the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a poster of Ben Eager. Fans will also have the chance to win Blackhawks prizes and memorabilia in a raffle during the game.
Blackhawks Night, which has been an annual promotion since the organization started in the United States Hockey League in the 2014-15 season, will also included other Blackhawks-themed activities throughout the game. The Flying Aces will change their goal song to ‘Chelsea Dagger’ for the night, play Blackhawks videos and games throughout the contest, and utilize Tommy Hawk to create an atmosphere for fans similar to attending a game at the United Center.
Tickets for Blackhawks Night start as low as $8 and can be purchased over the phone by calling the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980, online at flyingaceshockey.com or in person at the box office at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington.
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. At the start of the 2017-18 season, there were 128 active USHL alumni on NHL rosters, with at least one USHL alumnus playing for each of the 31 teams. In total, there have been 253 USHL players who have gone onto NHL careers, including Patrick Sharp, David Backes, Johnny Gaudreau, and Joe Pavelski, among others. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.