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Michael Callahan

Bloomington Thunder defenseman Michael Callahan, center, has been selected to participate in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 21 in Buffalo, N.Y.

BLOOMINGTON — Defenseman Michael Callahan has been chosen to represent the Bloomington Thunder in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 21 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The game will feature 42 of the top U.S. players eligible for next summer's NHL Draft, all but two with USHL ties.

Callahan, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound Massachusetts native, appeared in two games as a Thunder affiliate last season. A Providence College recruit, Callahan registered 12 goals and 20 assists in his high school season for Roxbury Latin.

He becomes the third player in club history chosen for the Prospects Game, following Mitchell Mattson (2015) and Ben Mirageas (2016). Both Mattson (Calgary) and Mirageas (N.Y. Islanders) later were selected in the NHL Draft.

Preseason slate: The Thunder will open their six-game preseason schedule Sept. 15 at home against the reigning champion Chicago Steel in a 7:07 p.m. game at Grossinger Motors Arena.

Bloomington also will play at Muskegon on Sept. 16 and at Chicago on Sept. 23 before finishing exhibition play with three games in the USHL Fall Classic, held Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in suburban Pittsburgh.

Opponents in the Fall Classic will be Team USA, Madison and Tri-City.

Name game?: While the team has had no official comment beyond “nothing has been decided yet” in regard to a potential rebranding, at least two other USHL teams’ websites are already referring to the Thunder with a different name.

The calendar schedule graphic on the Des Moines Buccaneers site uses the abbreviation “CIL” and Muskegon’s single-game ticket sales website identifies an opponent as the “Central Illinois Flying Aces.”

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Follow Joe Deacon on Twitter: @Pg_Deacon​


Assistant Sports Editor

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