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Mallards Sign Defenseman Leibinger; Motte Signs PTO with Iowa

March 30, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Quad City Mallards News Release

Mallards Sign Defenseman Leibinger; Motte Signs PTO with Iowa
Mallards Sign Defenseman Leibinger; Motte Signs PTO with Iowa
(Quad City Mallards)

MOLINE, Ill. - The Quad City Mallards have signed defenseman Chris Leibinger to a standard player contract and Mallards goaltender C.J. Motte has signed a professional tryout agreement with the American Hockey League's Iowa Wild, t he Mallards announced today. The Mallards further announced that forward Chase Lang has been recalled from the Mallards by Iowa and that Jake Reed has been signed as an emergency backup goaltender.

Leibinger, 22, turns professional with the Mallards after completing his senior season at Michigan Tech. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Saginaw, Michigan, native scored nine goals and added six assists for 15 points in 45 games this season while helping the Huskies to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title and a second NCAA tournament appearance in three years.

Leibinger totaled 13 goals, 22 assists and 35 points in 158 career collegiate games. He was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team after both his sophomore and junior seasons.

Before beginning his college career, Leibinger spent three seasons in the junior ranks. He skated for the Traverse City North Stars of the North American Hockey League and the Muskegon Lumberjacks and Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League.

Motte, 25, returns to the AHL after serving as the Chicago Wolves' backup for four games earlier this month and playing in a pair of games for the Charlotte Checkers in January. The 6' 0", 175-pound St. Clair, Michigan, native went 1-0-0 with a 0.75 goals against average and a .976 save percentage while surrendering a single goal on 42 shots while with Charlotte.

Motte, who has gone 20-10-2 in 35 games with the Mallards this season, is tied for third in the ECHL in save percentage (.917), ranks seventh in goals against average (2.64) and is tied for eighth in wins. Motte reached the 20-win plateau Tuesday night by making 30 saves while backstopping the Mallards to a 4-1 victory over the Wichita Thunder. He has won his last three starts and gone unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) in his last eight games. Motte represented the Mallards- and earned the win- in the 2017 ECHL All-Star Game January 18 in Glens Falls, New York.

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 last season.

Motte broke into professional 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 standout 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 USHL with Waterloo after a single campaign in the NAHL with Traverse City.

Lang, a 20-year old rookie, scored four goals and added two assists in 12 games after being assigned to the Mallards by Iowa on February 23. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound, Nanaimo, British Columbia, native has played one game for Iowa this season.

Reed, 22, joins the Mallards as an emergency backup for the fifth time this season and for the seventh time in the last three campaigns. The 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound Coal Valley native also acted as emergency backup for the Cincinnati Cyclones last month after joining both the Cyclones and Wheeling Nailers on an emergency basis last season.

The Mallards meet the Alaska Aces Friday evening at 7:05 p.m. at the iWireless Center. The Mallards will wear spe cial edition military-themed jerseys against the Aces. Those jerseys will be auctioned off after that game to benefit VFW Post 1303 in Rock Island. Friday also brings the return of $ 2 Dog/$2 Beer Night presented by 97X. Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs and beers from iWireless Center concession stands during every Friday Mallards home game. 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.

Single game tickets for all Mallards regular season home games- including Friday night's game- are on sale now at the iWireless Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, and Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000 . 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.

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Mallards Sign Defenseman Leibinger; Motte Signs PTO with Iowa
Mallards Sign Defenseman Leibinger; Motte Signs PTO with Iowa


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