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Former Mustang Ruwe signs with hometown Rivermen

July 10, 2013
By Dave Eminian, Peoria Journal Star
Former Peoria Mustangs defenseman Cole Ruwe become the first player signed in Peoria’s Southern Professional Hockey League era.  The Rivermen announced a couple months ago they would be playing in the SPHL for the upcoming 2013-14 season and they will be coaches by former Mustangs coach Jean-Guy Trudel.  Cole played for the Peoria Mustangs from 2002 to 2005. 
The Peoria Rivermen will travel quite a distance to face opponents in the Southern Professional Hockey League this fall. But they didn't have to look far to find the first player of Peoria's SPHL era.
The Rivermen have signed veteran defenseman Cole Ruwe -- a Pekin, Illnois native -- to a one-year deal. Ruwe is a fifth-year pro who has played in the Central Hockey League and International Hockey League.
"I grew up watching the Rivermen play," said Ruwe, a product of the Pekin Youth Hockey League. "I was there the night they won the Kelly Cup in the ECHL in 2000. I saw (new Rivermen head coach) Jean-Guy Trudel play for Peoria in the ECHL and AHL, and I know him and was familiar with him.
"It was a perfect fit for me, and it's exciting. To be able to play for the Rivermen in front of my friends and family, it's something I've dreamed of."
Ruwe is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman who played four years at Nichols College in the ECAC. He also played junior hockey from 2002-03 through 2004-05 for the Peoria Mustangs, then coached by former Rivermen scrapper Kevin Lune.
Ruwe went on to play four seasons in the class-A Central Hockey League with Wichita, Missouri and Fort Worth. He notched 5 goals and 39 assists in 176 games in the CHL.
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