ROANOKE, VA – On Tuesday, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs added two more players to their roster for the upcoming season. The Dawgs announced the signings of forwards Dmytro Babenko and David Gandara as both will return to camp in early October.
Babenko tallied 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in his first pro campaign. The native of Kharkiv, Ukraine had a solid season in Roanoke doing a bit of everything; always hard on the forecheck and never afraid to finish his check. The “Ukrainian Nightmare” finished the season very well, getting a point in six of his last seven games.
Gandara played in 33 games, recording five goals and ten assists before an injury put him out for the rest of the year. The Canyon Lake, California native started out playing roller hockey and later graduated to ice. Gandara played four years of hockey at American International College and began his pro career playing in three SPHL games for the Louisiana Ice Gators in 2015-16.
Roanoke now has six players under contract so far, having signed last year’s captain Nick Schneider, Jeremy Beirnes, Travis Armstrong, and Phil Bronner earlier this summer. Beirnes and Armstrong have also signed ECHL deals and will get a shot in training camps there first. Additionally, veteran defenseman Joe Sova was acquired from the Fayetteville Marksmen in a trade earlier in August. Hockey season is getting much closer, so expect there to be a flood of signings in the coming weeks as Coach Sam Ftorek fills out his training camp roster.
All of the SPHL offseason transactions can be viewed on our player tracker.
The Dawgs begin the 2017-18 season on October 20th at home in the Berglund Center against the Marksmen.
For the latest on player signings around the Southern Professional Hockey League, check out our 2017 SPHL Transactions page!