Springfield, Ill.- Illinois Lottery Officials will be on hand Friday night to award the inaugural Illinois Lottery Cup to the Peoria Rivermen at the Carver Arena prior to the 7:05 p.m. puck drop with Rockford IceHogs.
“The Illinois Lottery is happy to sponsor this on-going competition between three, great Illinois-based American Hockey League teams,” said Lottery Supt. Michael Jones. “Congratulations to all three teams for their spirited competition, and to the Rivermen for taking top honors in the Cup’s inaugural season. As far as which team will come out on top in season two, anything’s possible!”
The Lottery Cup brings a new level of excitement to the American Hockey League regular-season games played between the Chicago Wolves, Peoria Rivermen and Rockford IceHogs. The three teams compete all season for the best regular-season record against one another. Not only does the Illinois Lottery Cup provide an added element of competition for the three intrastate rivals this season, but it brings the Lottery out to each community to cheer on all three teams and connect with American Hockey League fans.
“We are proud that the Illinois Lottery Cup has found a home here in Peoria,” said Jason Penning, chief operating officer of the Rivermen. “Competing against high-caliber teams like Chicago and Rockford so frequently is certainly a challenge and it makes this such a rewarding accomplishment. We would like to thank the Illinois Lottery for taking this intrastate rivalry to the next level and we hope to keep the cup here in Peoria as long as we can.”
During last season, Peoria won seven of their 12 meetings with Rockford in 2011-12 and split their 10 against Chicago. Their .545 winning percentage was the best among the three teams in the combined season series.
"I would like to congratulate the Rivermen on clinching the first-ever Illinois Lottery Cup,” said Gordon Kaye, executive director of the IceHogs. “While we are disappointed to not be the first team name emblazoned on the Cup, we are all looking forward to competing for the prestigious award in the years to come.”
"We are thrilled with the traction that the Illinois Lottery Cup has gained throughout the season with our fans,” said Chicago Wolves President Mike Gordon. “The natural rivalry between Peoria, Rockford and the Wolves is enhanced through this competition. We are looking forward to competing for the Cup again this season."
This year’s battle for the Illinois Lottery Cup has already begun with the Wolves sweeping Rockford in two games over the weekend and Chicago claiming and overtime victory over Peoria on Wednesday night. The actual Illinois Lottery Cup will be on display throughout the season at select ILC games in all three cities. Fans will be able to get their photos taken with the Cup.
2012-13 Cup Games:
Chicago vs Peoria = 10 games
Chicago vs Rockford = 12 games
Peoria vs Rockford = 12 games
First ILC game happened October 13, 2012
Last ILC game happens April 12, 2013
About the Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over$17.5 billion to the state Common School Fund, as well as the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old.