Rivermen Make Blockbuster Swap, Acquire Bruce from Birmingham

January 23, 2018 - 03:45 pm

Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen

Rivermen Make Blockbuster Swap, Acquire Bruce from Birmingham

Peoria sends leading goal-scorer Barber to expansion Bulls Tuesday


Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen announced Tuesday that the team has acquired winger Keegan Bruce in a trade with the Birmingham Bulls. In return, rookie center and Rivermen leading goal-scorer Jacob Barber heads to Birmingham.


Bruce, 27, joins the Rivermen after skating in 29 games this season for Birmingham, logging 9 goals and 10 assists, adding a helper in two games during a brief call-up to ECHL Florida. Last season, Bruce played in all 56 regular-season games for the Columbus Cottonmouths, notching 27 goals and 24 assists, earning a spot on the SPHL’s All-Rookie team.


Keegan becomes the second Bruce to play for the Rivermen after his father, David, skated in 60 regular-season games for the 1990-91 IHL Rivermen, leading the team in scoring with 64 goals and 52 assists, leading that team to a Turner Cup title and a then-pro-hockey record 18-game winning streak.


“We’re very excited to get Keegan here in Peoria,” said Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel. He’s a talented player with a great shot and good size and speed, and of course his dad played here in the early 90s and he was born at OSF Hospital here in Peoria. It’s tough to lose a guy as talented as Barber, but we wish him the best in Birmingham and we’re happy to have Keegan here as a Rivermen.”


Barber departs the Rivermen after playing in all 29 games for Peoria this season, his first as a pro, tallying a team-best 12 goals to go with 17 assists. The Dardenne Prairie, MO native tallied three assists for the Rivermen Saturday in Huntsville, and notched 81 points (32g, 49a) in 90 career games over his four-year collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


The Rivermen return to action this weekend when they play a home-and-home-and-home trio of games against the Evansville Thunderbolts, beginning with Peoria’s annual Faith & Family Night on Friday, featuring a postgame concert by Christian group The Afters. Following a Saturday tilt at the Ford Center, the Rivermen and Thunderbolts will return to Carver Arena on Sunday afternoon for a 3:05 game and Peoria’s first PNC Family Fun Sunday of the season, with discounted kids tickets, and a pregame fun fest in the Peoria Civic Center Great Hall including inflatables, face painting, and balloon art. Tickets for Friday’s and Sunday’s games, as well as all of Peoria’s remaining 2017-18 home games, can be purchased by calling the Rivermen office at (309)-676-1040.


Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 36th season of professional hockey presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center are on sale at the Toyota Box Office in the Peoria Civic Center, or by phone at the Rivermen office, located at 201 S.W. Jefferson Street, or over the phone at (309) 676-1040. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter(https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen)