- Associated Press - Thursday, July 10, 2014

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - The Peoria Rivermen hockey team says co-owner Bruce Saurs has died.

According to a news release from the Southern Professional Hockey League team, the 88-year-old Saurs died Thursday morning. The release didn’t provide a cause of death.

Fellow Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers credited Saurs with helping keep hockey alive in Peoria for more than two decades.

Saurs was a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria and owned car dealerships before buying the Rivermen in 1989.

The team had run big financial losses but he turned it into a money-maker.

He also helped pioneer links between the team and the St. Louis Blues that the Rivermen enjoyed for years.

The release said Saurs also worked as a teacher and coach and in the 1950s helped start Peoria’s first Little League program.

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