Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
Quad City Mallards goaltender C.J. Motte has signed a professional tryout agreement with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves and goaltender Matt O’Connor has been reassigned from the Mallards to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals by the NHL’s Nashville Predators while goaltender Jake Paterson has been loaned to the Mallards by Milwaukee, the Mallards announced today.
Motte, 26, heads to the AHL for the third time this season to begin his second stint with the Wolves. The 6-foot, 175-pound St. Clair, Michigan native last week returned to the Mallards from the AHL’s Iowa Wild after spending just over a month with Chicago earlier in the campaign. Motte has gone 2-2-3 with a 2.52 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and one shutout in seven AHL games this season. He went 1-1-0 with a 2.30 goals against average and a .922 save percentage while playing three games for the Wolves in October and November.
Motte has posted a 3.13 goals against average, a .913 save percentage and one shutout while going 2-7-1 in ten games with the Mallards this year. Last Friday he made a season high 40 saves while backstopping the Mallards to a 5-3 win over the Indy Fuel in his first start after returning from Iowa.
Motte finished last season- his first with the Mallards- tied for sixth in the ECHL in save percentage (.917) and tied for eighth in goals against average (2.68) while going 20-11-2 in 36 games. Exactly one year ago, Motte represented the Mallards- and earned the win- in the 2017 ECHL All-Star Classic.
Motte’s just-completed stint with the Wild was his second with the club. He first suited up for Iowa- without seeing any game action- late last season. Motte last year also spent time in the AHL with the Wolves and Charlotte Checkers. He played in two AHL games last season- both with Charlotte- and went 1-0-0 with a 0.75 goals against average and a .976 save percentage while surrendering a single goal on 42 shots.
Motte went 15-22-2 with a 2.83 goals against average, a .910 save percentage and two shutouts in 42 games as a rookie with the Elmira Jackals in 2015-16.
Motte broke into pro hockey with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, for whom he played four games and posted a 1-2-1 record, a 2.49 goals against average and a .917 save percentage late in the 2014-15 season.
Motte turned pro after four sterling seasons at Ferris State University. In 2014-15 he became the first goaltender in school history to serve as team captain. He set Ferris State records for most career wins and shutouts (15) while going 66-49-12 with a 2.13 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in 127 collegiate games.
Motte not only earned All-WCHA honors in both his junior (first team) and senior (third team) years but was also one of ten finalists for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award. As a senior, Motte finished second in the nation in minutes played (2435:33) and tied for sixth in shutouts (5) after leading Division I netminders in both wins (28) and minutes (2431:06) and also finishing tied for sixth in shutouts (5) in his junior year.
Motte and the Bulldogs won regular season conference titles and earned NCAA tournament bids in both 2011-12 and 2013-14 and in 2012 reached the national title game.
Motte played three years of junior hockey before heading to Ferris State. He spent two seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Waterloo Black Hawks after a single campaign in the North American Hockey League with the Traverse City North Stars.
O’Connor, 25, departs seven days after first leaving the Flock to join Milwaukee and serve as the Admirals’ backup netminder in two games last the weekend before being reassigned to the Mallards Monday.
O’Connor went 0-2-0 with a 3.58 goals against average and a .891 save percentage while playing a pair of games for Milwaukee earlier this season. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native has gone 0-4-2 with a 5.12 goals against average and a .853 save percentage in six games with the Mallards this year. He was first reassigned to the Mallards on December 20. O’Connor has gone 0-8-2 with a 4.51 goals against average and a .869 save percentage in ten total ECHL games this season with the Mallards and Atlanta Gladiators.
O’Connor played one NHL game for the Ottawa Senators as a rookie in 2015-16. He made 34 saves on October 11, 2021 in a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadians.
O’Connor has spent most of his career in the AHL. He has posted a 3.28 goals against average and a .895 save percentage while going 24-40-5 in 73 career AHL games.
Last season O’Connor went 14-18-1 while turning in a 3.23 goals against average and a .895 save percentage in 37 AHL games with the Binghamton Senators. O’Connor last year also got his first taste of ECHL action in two games with the Wichita Thunder.
O’Connor turned pro after three seasons at Boston University. He capped off his collegiate career by backstopping B.U. to a berth in the 2015 NCAA title game after helping the Terriers to the Hockey East regular season and tournament championships. O’Connor was named to the 2014-15 Hockey East Second All-Star Team and All-Tournament Team. He finished that campaign third in the nation in wins by going 25-4-4 with a 2.18 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in 35 games. In total, O’Connor went 40-21-10 with a 2.44 goals against average and a .921 save percentage in 76 career collegiate games.
O’Connor arrived at B.U. after four seasons of junior hockey. He spent two years in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Upper Canada Hockey Club/Patriots and Burlington Cougars before moving on to the United States Hockey League for two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms.
Paterson, 23, joins the Mallards for the second time in a week. The 6-foot-1, 183-pound Mississauga, Ontario native turned away 28 shots while making his Mallard debut in a 4-3 loss to the Indy Fuel last Saturday, the day after he first arrived in the Quad Cities. Paterson was then recalled by Milwaukee Monday.
Paterson has played one game for Milwaukee this season. Paterson made 34 saves and allowed three goals while suffering a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Wolves on December 17. Patterson went 1-4-0 with a 4.64 goals against average and a .891 save percentage in five ECHL games with the Norfolk Admirals earlier this season.
Paterson last year was named to the All-ECHL Second Team after helping the Toledo Walleye to the Brabham Cup regular season title. Paterson led the league in wins by going 34-13-1 in 49 games, tied for the league lead in shutouts (7), finished second in minutes played (2919), finished third in goals against average (2.28), and finished tied for fourth in save percentage (.918).
Paterson, who was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with the eightieth overall choice, got his first taste of AHL action when he played two games with the Grand Rapids Griffins as a rookie in 2015-16. He spent the bulk of that campaign with the Walleye, whom he helped to the North Division title. Paterson broke into pro hockey when he played two games for Toledo late in the 2014-15 season.
Paterson turned pro after tending goal for four full seasons and part of a fifth in the OHL. Paterson spent the majority of his major junior career with the Saginaw Spirit before being traded to the Kitchener Rangers midway through the 2014-15 campaign.
The Mallards will welcome fans to Marvel Super Hero Night and don special edition Captain America jerseys when they collide with the Kalamazoo Wings this evening at 7:05 p.m. at the TaxSlayer Center. Tonight’s game will be not only a battle between division rivals but also a duel between rival super heroes- while the Mallards will wear Captain America gear, the Wings will sport Iron Man jerseys. Captain America and Iron Man themselves will meet fans and be available for photos on the TaxSlayer Center concourse throughout the evening. The Mallards’ game worn Captain America jerseys will be made available for bid in an online auction.
Fans can purchase the Mallards’ Marvel Super Hero Night ticket package and get not only four lower bowl tickets (horseshoe end) for tonight’s game but also four ice cream cones (vouchers) and four admission passes to the Family Museum in Bettendorf along with the guaranteed opportunity to meet Captain America and Iron Man. The Marvel Super Hero Night package is available for just $75 by contacting the Mallards’ office at 309-277-1364.
Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs and beers from TaxSlayer Center concession stands during every Friday Mallards home game courtesy of 97X. In addition, the Mallards have once again this season partnered with Metro to provide transit service between Augustana College and downtown Moline during all Friday home games. As part of Metro’s unlimited ride program, Augustana riders can use their Augustana ID as their fare.
Tickets for tonight's game and all Mallards regular season home games are now on sale at the TaxSlayer Center box office, Ticketmaster toll free charge-by-phone (1-800-745-3000) and ticketmaster.com. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.