Rivermen Shuffle Forwards, Sign College Defenseman Tuesday

March 14, 2017 - 01:30 pm

Photo Credit: Bob Hunt

Rivermen Shuffle Forwards, Sign College Defenseman Tuesday

Keller returns from ECHL Indy, Klecha heads to IR, Vermeersch waived


Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen announced a series of roster moves Tuesday, signing Utica College defenseman Kevin Kirisits to a full contact and returning rookie winger Ryan Keller from his loan to ECHL Indy. Additionally, the Rivermen placed center Garrett Vermeersch on waivers and put winger Dakota Klecha on the 14-day injured reserve with an upper-body injury.


Kirisits comes to the Rivermen after finishing a four-year collegiate career at Division 3 Utica College, where he served as the team captain in his final two seasons. With Utica, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound blueliner saw the ice in 108 career games, logging eight goals, 22 assists, and 103 penalty minutes. The 24-year-old is expected to make his professional debut Friday when the Rivermen take on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia.


Keller returns to the Rivermen from ECHL Indy after he was loaned to the Fuel December 20. In two separate stints with the Fuel this season, the Michigan State University product tallied four goals and assisted on two others in 35 games, and in 10 contests with the Rivermen this season, Keller has logged a pair of goals and a trio of helpers.


Klecha makes his second trip of the season to Injured Reserve after suffering an upper body injury during Peoria’s 4-1 loss in Fayetteville on Sunday. The Taylor, MI native is one of only four Rivermen players who have been with the team since Opening Weekend, and in 40 games he’s notched 15 goals and assisted on 20 others, adding a +20 rating, the latter tying him for second in the league.


Vermeersch departs the Rivermen having played in 22 games since signing with the Rivermen January 14. All-told this year in 45 contests between Knoxville, Evansville, and Peoria, Vermeersch has logged eight goals and 17 assists in addition to a cumulative -12 rating. In 204 career regular season SPHL contests, the Macomb, MI native has tallied 161 points via 71 goals and 90 assists.


The Rivermen return to action Friday night when they travel to Roanoke, Virginia for a pair of games against the Rail Yard Dawgs, with games scheduled Friday and Saturday night at 6:05 CDT. Peoria is next at home March 31-April 2 when they host a three-game set against the Fayetteville FireAntz at Carver Arena, with tickets available through the Peoria Civic Center Box Office or by calling the Rivermen office at (309)-676-1040.


Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 35th 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)