Marksmen Trade for Experience, Leadership

Fayetteville, N.C-  The Fayetteville Marksmen on Friday announced the acquisition of veteran defensemen Joe Sova, and netminder Peter Di Salvo from the Mississippi RiverKings, in exchange for goalie Tyler Green and the rights to Graeme Strukoff and Nick Rivait.

“As a team that lost a lot of experience and defensive depth, we felt we could get a deal done to replace that,” Head Coach Nick Mazzolini said. “We feel Sova will help our younger D-squad and show them the ropes.”

“It was an opportunity to add an experienced defenseman that has a lot of experience at the higher levels,” added Director of Hockey Operations, Ryan Cruthers. “We didn’t have to give up a lot to get him in some guys that weren’t going to report to us.”

A native of Berwyn, Illinois, Sova joins the Marksmen after splitting time with the Peoria Rivermen and the Mississippi RiverKings last season. In 56 games, Sova recorded seven tallies and 23 assists.

The 29-year-old has experience in both the AHL and the ECHL, having suited up for 10 different teams in that time, beginning in the 2010-11 season, when he joined the Albany Devils of the AHL. He has also skated for the Charlotte Checkers and Chicago Wolves, also of the AHL. His ECHL stops include; Kalamazoo Wings, Florida Everblades, San Francisco Bulls, Reading Royals, Toledo Walleye, and the Tulsa Oilers.

In total, the former free-agent signing of the New Jersey Devils has appeared in 346 games among three different leagues and has posted 96 points (23 goals, 76 assists).

Prior to turning pro, Sova spent three seasons with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, recording 59 points (13 goals, 46 assists) in 115 games played.

Di Salvo spent the majority of last season with the RiverKings, but earned two separate call-ups to the ECHL with the Wichita Thunder (three games) and the Allen Americans (five games). With the RiverKings, the native of Oakville, Ontario posted a 2.96 Goals Against Average and a .900 Save Percentage and finished with a record of 12-5-1 in SPHL play.

“We had to give up a good young goalie, in Tyler Green, but we wish him the best,” Mazzolini mentioned. “We gained a very good goalie in Peter Di Salvo, he has ECHL experience and we feel he will be a big piece of the puzzle moving forward.”

Cruthers added: “It was tough to give up a guy in Green, but we added a goalie that has experience at the higher levels. Di Salvo brings us experience in the crease and is still a young guy, so we think he can be a big part of our team in the future.”

After spending two seasons with Acadia University in the Atlantic University Sports Conference of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport, Di Salvo joined the Pensacola Ice Flyers for the 2013/14 season. In his rookie campaign, he worked to a steady 2.36 GAA, .929 SVP, and an 11-5-1 record.

In all, Di Salvo has spent time with six different teams among the SPHL and ECHL, having spent most of his time with the RiverKings. His stops in the ECHL include; Colorado Eagles and the Adirondack Thunder in addition to the Wichita Thunder and Allen Americans. For his career, the 26-year-old boast a 2.58 GAA with a .915 SVP and a 60-29-7 overall record.

Prior to his time with Acadia University, Di Salvo spent five seasons (2006-2011) in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sarnia Sting, Barrie Colts, and Oshawa Generals.

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The Fayetteville Marksmen are owned and operated by Union Pro Hockey Group and play their home games at Crown Coliseum. The Marksmen are a committed community asset, designed to provide premium entertainment to families and individuals in Cumberland County and surrounding areas.