ROANOKE, Va. – The Rail Yard Dawgs announced on Tuesday that the team has signed rookie forward Matteo DiGiulio to a standard player contract. Additionally, forward Xavier Filion has been placed on team suspension.

“Xavier has decided that going home to his family is best for him at this time, and does not wish to play hockey through the remainder of this current season,” said Roanoke head coach Dan Bremner. “We wish Xavier all of the best moving forward,” Bremner continued.

By placing Filion on team suspension, Roanoke maintains his SPHL rights through the remainder of this season and will have the option to protect Filion’s rights during the offseason for the upcoming 2024-2025 campaign.

Filion is in his first year with the Dawgs, and notched eight goals, 10 assists, and a plus-six rating in 24 games played for Roanoke. The 21-year old recorded one goal, one assist, four penalty minutes, and a minus-four rating in 12 games played for the ECHL’s Trois-Riviéres Lions earlier in the season. Filion also appeared in three games for the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers back in November, registering four shots on goal and a minus-one plus/minus rating during his time in the ECHL. The Plessisville, Quebec native previously played four seasons of junior hockey in one of Canada’s top junior leagues, the QMJHL. In 236 combined regular season and playoff games, the six-foot-one forward recorded 44 goals, 63 assists, 91 penalty minutes, and a plus-three rating.

DiGiulio joins the Dawgs from Adrian College (ACHA), where he played for four seasons en route to winning two national championships in 2021 and 2024 with the Bulldogs. In his four seasons at Adrian, the Maple, Ontario native recorded 77 goals, 76 assists, and 87 penalty minutes over 119 regular season games played, and added 11 goals, seven assists, and 12 penalty minutes in 15 career postseason games as the Bulldogs won the ACHA Division One titles in both his freshman and senor campaigns (were also runners-up in 2022-2023). This season, the 24-year old lefty served as the team captain for Adrian, and tallied 45 points (18 G, 27 A) in 35 regular season games before tacking on three goals and one assist during the four-game run to the national title. DiGiulio was teammates with fellow Rail Yard Dawg Brenden Stanko and former Dawg Dakota Bohn for three years while at Adrian (all three were members of the 2020-2021 title team). The six-foot-three forward played his junior hockey in the OHL with the Toronto Jr. Canadians, Milton Icehawks, and St’s Michael’s Buzzers. Across four seasons in the OJHL, DiGiulio combined for 30 goals, 49 assists, and 202 penalty minutes in a total of 227 games played.

The Rail Yard Dawgs host the Quad City Storm on Friday night, March 22 at 7:05 P.M. EST at Berglund Center, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen in on Mixlr. Playoff packages are on sale now, and can be purchased by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office. Other season ticket packages, group tickets, and single-game tickets are on sale now by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office or visiting the Berglund Center box office. 

Photo Credit: Adrian College ACHA

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