Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel announced Tuesday that rookie defenseman Ben Oskroba has been signed to a full-season SPHL contract. In addition, defenseman Joe Schiller has been activated from the injured reserve, where he had been since Jan. 27 with an upper body injury.
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Oskroba, 23, appeared in 13 collegiate games for the University of Connecticut this season and collected two assists with 20 penalty minutes. Previously, the Chicago native spent parts of the past two years at Northeastern University in Boston, where he played with current Rivermen forwards Garrett Vermeersch and Steve Morra. Oskroba produced a goal and 31 penalty minutes over 31 games for the Huskies.
Prior to his college career, the 6’5, 225-defenseman was a member of the Phoenix Polar Bears (Western States Hockey League), the Walpole Express (Atlantic Junior Hockey League) and the Lincoln Stars (United States Hockey League). Across three junior leagues, Oskroba played in 120 games and totaled 66 points with 245 penalty minutes.
Schiller, 25, has played in 33 games for the Rivermen this season and has recorded 18 assists, eight penalty minutes and 63 shots. Last year, the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota native appeared in 20 games for the now-defunct Augusta RiverHawks and registered six points (2g, 4a) with two penalty minutes. He also spent time on Augusta’s injured reserve towards the end of the year.
The 6’1, 185-pound defenseman began his pro career with ECHL Las Vegas in 2011-12, where he notched one assist in eight games. He spent the previous four years at the University of Minnesota – Mankato.
The Rivermen return home on Friday for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Louisiana IceGators at Carver Arena. Friday is “Superhero Night” featuring appearances by Batman, Spiderman, Captain America and more. Plus, fans are invited to participate in a superhero costume contest. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online here. Fans can also follow along via the live video stream at www.americaonesports.com. For tickets or more information, please call 676-1040 or visit Rivermen.net.