Alec Hagaman Steps Down as Associate Head Coach - Returns from Retirement to Play Final Season Eric Levine Announced as Rivermen Assistant Coach

October 19, 2023 - 03:50 pm

PEORIA, IL – The Peoria Rivermen have announced on Thursday that Peoria native Alec Hagaman has resigned his position of Associate Head Coach of the Peoria Rivermen, effective immediately, and will return for one final season on the ice. Former goaltender Eric Levine has been named Assistant Coach by the organization.


Hagaman, who played nine seasons in the SPHL with eight in Peoria, confirmed his intention to play one final season this week after the decision of his family to move from Peoria to Wisconsin after the season. The Hagamans’ plan to move closer to extended family currently residing in the Badger State, meaning this will be Hagaman’s final season in River City. Knowing he would be leaving Peoria and his future would not be behind the bench in future years, Hagaman determined that he would prefer his final season with the Rivermen to be on the ice.


Hagaman was captain of the Rivermen in each of his last three seasons in Peoria and was an assistant captain in Pensacola during the 2020-21 campaign. He is a two-time President’s Cup champion and the only player in SPHL history to have more than 400 points while playing in more than 400 games. This season, his final in the SPHL and Peoria, will be his tenth in professional hockey. Last year Hagaman had 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists) in 53 games played along with five points in five playoff games.


Eric Levine, a former goaltending standout for the Rivermen joins the staff after a nine-year professional career (six seasons with the Rivermen) at the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL levels. Levine is a President’s Cup champion and the SPHL leader in career shutouts. Levine is also the owner of Midwest Goalie Academy, a premier goaltender camp based in Chicago. Levine will be honored on opening night when the Rivermen take on the Evansville Thunderbolts at Carver Arena on Friday, October 27.


The Rivermen have also signed two new players to the active roster, goaltender Brendahn Brawley and forward Chad Lopez. Brawley, a native of Morton, Pennsylvania, will make his professional debut with the Rivermen after four years at Plymouth State University (NCAA-III). Brawley averaged a 2.27 goals-against-average and a .924 save percentage at the collegiate level. Lopez comes to Peoria after playing with the Quad City Storm for one game last season and with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for five games in 2022. Lopez netted 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) with the Binghamton Black Bears of the FPHL last season.


The Rivermen have also released goaltender Brett Epp, and forward Liam Freeborn.


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