Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel announced Wednesday that rookie left wing Justin Gvora has signed an SPHL contract with the team, while rookie right wing Paul Chiasson has signed a three-game tryout contract.
Gvora, 26, is in his first professional season after spending the last five years at the University of Guelph in Ontario. The 6’2, 190-pound winger made his pro debut with ECHL Elmira on Nov. 27, but was released eight days later.
Prior to turning pro, Gvora notched 87 points (38g, 49a) and 47 penalty minutes over 109 career games at Guelph. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native was also drafted in the ninth round (#166 overall) of the 2003 OHL Entry Draft by the Mississauga IceDogs, where he went on to record a goal and two assists for Mississauga during the 2005-06 season.
Chiasson, 24, enters his first pro season after spending the last four years with current Rivermen defenseman Charlie Carkin at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. Over 151 collegiate games, the 5’11, 195-pound winger collected 109 points (55g, 54a) and 92 penalty minutes. In 2010-11, Chiasson ranked second on Mercyhurst with 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists) in 37 games. In 2011-12, his 14 goals ranked first. A native of Toronto, Chiasson will likely make his pro debut with Peoria.
The Rivermen begin a three-game series against the Bloomington Thunder this Friday, Dec. 20, with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop at Carver Arena. Peoria will wear custom "Central Illinois STRONG" jerseys to support tornado relief in central Illinois, which will be auctioned off after the game. All proceeds will benefit local charities and their relief efforts. It's also UnityPoint Health-Methodist "Puck Night." The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a limited edition Rivermen puck.
The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at www.cd1079.net. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at www.americaonesports.com.