ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs announced Thursday that forward Brady Heppner and defenseman Matt O’Dea have been placed on the 21-day and 30-day injured reserve lists, respectively, retroactive to November 12. Heppner will be eligible to be activated by the team on December 3, while O’Dea will be eligible to return on December 12.
O’Dea returned to the Star City after enjoying an impressive season for the Dawgs in 2021-2022. The five-foot-eleven defenseman was one of the best offensive producers from the blue line throughout the SPHL, tallying 14 goals and 19 assists in 46 regular season games. O’Dea also had a team-best plus-27 plus/minus rating, and added five assists during the team’s run to the President’s Cup Final. This season, O’Dea was leading all SPHL defensemen in goals (two) and points (eight), while also leading the entire SPHL in plus/minus with a plus-nine rating. The Mokena, Illinois native previously played 41 games for the Rail Yard Dawgs during the 2019-2020 season, netting four goals and 11 assists. O’Dea also played for the FPHL’s Columbus River Dragons during the 2020-2021 campaign, recording five goals and seven assists as the River Dragons won the FPHL Ignite Cup title.
Heppner came back this fall after completing his first full season with Roanoke last year. After signing with the Dawgs and recording two assists in the final three games of the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season, the left-shot winger broke out for the team in the 2021-2022 campaign. The Crookston, Minnesota native tallied 20 goals and 23 assists in 54 regular season games, while adding two goals and an assist in the postseason. Heppner also ranked second in the SPHL for shorthanded goals with four scores on the penalty kill. This season, Heppner has notched three goals and three assists in his first eight games, including a team-leading two power play scores. The five-foot-nine forward notched 39 goals and 40 assists in 99 games in his collegiate days at Saint John’s University (NCAA-DIII), and made the All-MIAC Conference First Team three years in a row.
Roanoke will be on the road this weekend starting on Friday, November 18, at 8:00 p.m. EST against the Huntsville Havoc, and you can watch the game on HockeyTV or listen for free on Mixlr. Season tickets and single-game tickets are available by calling the Rail Yard Dawgs office, visiting the ‘Tickets’ page on our website, or by visiting the Berglund Center box office.