John Moncovich signs in the SPHL

Photo credit: Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.

By Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.

John Moncovich became the latest senior from the UCHC Champion Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Team to sign a professional contract as he has joined the Fayetteville Marksmen of the SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League). The team announced the signing on Thursday.

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Moncovich arrived in Utica in 2019 after playing for the Hampton Roads Whalers of the USPHL along with teammates Jaxon Rutkowski and Brandon Osmundson (Regen Cavanagh also played for the Whalers Elite team). “Big, Bad John Moncovich” as Utica’s play-by-play announcer Ray Biggs liked to call him, was a strong net-front presence for Head Coach Gary Heenan’s Pioneers for all four seasons he played there. In eighty-eight career games, Moncovich scored forty-five goals and has an overall shooting percentage of 16.4%.

John Moncovich’s career statistics for the Utica Pioneers. Table and statistics courtesy of

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Signing with the Marksmen is a homecoming of sorts for Moncovich, as he hails from Wilmington, NC. Wilmington is ninety-two miles southeast of Fayetteville.

The Fayetteville Marksmen are in eighth place in the ten-team SPHL, with the top eight teams qualifying for the playoffs. Their next games are on Friday and Saturday nights at the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, who themselves have a couple of names familiar to Central New York hockey fans. The Rail Yard Dawgs recently signed Alex DiCarlo from the Oswego St. Lakers, whom Moncovich and the Pioneers faced on December 3rd of this season. Roanoke also has goaltender Brody Claeys, who dressed for the Utica Comet’s march 5th game against the Syracuse Crunch, on their roster.

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