Fighting Saints Add Defenseman Matt Stoia
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Dubuque Fighting Saints have acquired the rights to defenseman Matt Stoia (Northville, Mich.) from the Sarnia Legionnaires of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL), according to general manager Kalle Larsson.
"Matt is a mobile defenseman with good offensive instincts," Larsson said. "He has worked hard on becoming a more all-around player over the past two seasons and it shows."
"We'd like to thank the Sarnia Legionnaires for allowing Matt to play for our team, and for making this a smooth process."
The 18-year-old blueliner was an international replacement as an affiliate player for the Saints during the World Junior A Challenge for two games against Team USA in 2015, and was a +3. He rejoins the Saints from the Legionnaires, where he posted 32 points in 35 games. He also played in four games for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League over the past two seasons.
"We like that we already have familiarity with him," Larsson added. "He is now two years older and more mature as a player than in his last stint with us, and we look forward to having him back."
"We've been looking for a right-shot D with junior experience," said head coach Oliver David. "He's a capable playmaking defenseman who has a shot at contributing on the power play. He fits the bill for some things we needed."
"Fortunately he's able to come here before the Canadian trade deadline and we were able to make a deal and get him here in Dubuque at the midnight hour in reaction to our recent injuries."
Stoia will be available to join the team immediately, and will be set to play as soon as this Friday at home against the Youngstown Phantoms. In conjunction with the addition of Stoia to the roster, defenseman Casey Staum (Falcon Heights, Minn.) has been placed on Injured Reserve.
About the Dubuque Fighting Saints
The Fighting Saints returned to USHL play in the brand new Mystique Community Ice Center during the 2010-11 season, winning the Clark Cup in their first year back in the USHL. The Fighting Saints continued their success with a historic season in 2012 - 13, finishing with a franchise best 45 - 11â=80=908 record. The team claimed the Anderson Cup as the USHL's regular season champions for the first time in 30 years, and also earned the Clark Cup for second time in three seasons. In August 2013, the team took the Bronze Medal while representing the United States at the Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia. The Fighting Saints have reached the Clark Cup Final three times in the past seven seasons, and has made it to the Clark Cup Playoffs for seven consecutive seasons. The club has produced a number of players that moved on to NCAA Division I hockey and have been drafted by NHL teams, including Zemgus Girgensons, Johnny Gaudreau, Mike Matheson and Matt Benning. The original Fighting Saints competed in the USHL for 21 seasons (1980-2001). The club won the Clark Cup as playoff champions on three occasions (1981, 1983, 1985) under head coach Jack Barzee. One of the most well-known alumni of the original Fighting Saints was Gary Suter, a 17â=80=90year NHL veteran, two-time Olympian, Stanley Cup champion, and member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
About Northern Lights Hockey, LLC
Northern Lights Hockey, LLC is the company that owns and operates the USHL franchise in Dubuque, Iowa. The owners of Northern Lights Hockey, LLC collectively provide an extensive background in both business and hockey, and represent interests on a national and local level. Philip Falcone, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of HC2 Holdings, Inc. and former part owner of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, is the company's principal owner. The ownership group also includes Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Mark Falcone, and Brad Kwong, Managing Partner of Northern Lights Hockey, LLC. Philip Falcone, Chiarelli and Kwong all played hockey together at Harvard University in the mid-1980s. The group also includes local Iowan partners Mark Falb and David S. Field, M.D. Falb currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Westmark Enterprises, Inc. and Kendall / Hunt Publishing Company. Dr. Field has practiced orthopedic surgery for over 30 years and has been the driving force behind hockey in Dubuque. Dr. Field also owned the Dubuque Thunderbirds, the USA Hockey Tier III team that competed in the Central States Hockey League through the 2009-10 season.
-- Jordan Kuhns I Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations I Dubuque Fighting Saints 5-Time Clark Cup Champions
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