ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs announced Wednesday that the team has signed defenseman John Stampohar and released defenseman Billy Roche. Stampohar will wear number 19 for the Dawgs.

Stampohar heads to Roanoke after playing his first seven pro games in the ECHL with the Kansas City Mavericks earlier this month. The six-foot-two defenseman went to Kansas City out of the University of Wisconsin-Superior (NCAA-DIII), where he played for two years after transferring from Canisius University (NCAA-DI). The 24-year old saw action in 18 games at Canisius, with one assist and 12 penalty minutes. In his last two years with Wisconsin-Superior, Stampohar had two goals, 14 assists, 51 penalty minutes in 58 combined games. Prior to his collegiate career starting, the Grand Rapids, Minnesota native played three years of junior hockey, with 138 games for the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs if you combine the regular season and playoffs.

Roche debuted with the Dawgs this weekend after playing five combined seasons of collegiate hockey at Suffolk University and Curry College (both NCAA-DIII). The rookie blue-liner had four shots and was plus-one on the ice in his three games this weekend, and scored the game-winning goal in his pro debut on Friday night in Roanoke’s 3-1 win over Fayetteville. The six-foot-two defenseman had played his first four years at Suffolk, where he had eight goals, 22 assists, and 48 penalty minutes in 65 total games. The 25-year old was the team’s captain in the 2021-22 season after serving as alternate captain during the prior season. As a grad transfer for Curry this past season, Roche recorded six goals, four assists, six penalty minutes, and a plus-seven rating in 29 games for the Colonels, as they advanced all the way to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals before losing to second-seeded Hobart. The Braintree, Massachusetts native played two seasons of junior hockey, primarily in the EHL and NCDC. 

Roanoke will stay home this Friday night, March 31 at 7:05 p.m. EST against the Peoria Rivermen at Berglund Center. Playoff packages 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.

Photo Credit (Social Media posts): Ashlie Brammer (Roche) // Holden Law (Stampohar)