The Quad City Mallards of the “AA” Central Hockey League today announced they have signed goaltender John Murray. Per club policy, no contract terms were announced.
Murray, 25, has been reunited with new Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski after excelling for the Ruskowski-coached Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees last season. Murray last year finished tied for first in the CHL in shutouts (3), tied for fifth in save percentage (.919) and tenth in goals against average (2.66) while going 16-14-2 in 36 games.
“Getting hired to the team and seeing that John Murray was already signed was a pleasant surprise. Knowing that I had him as my goalie last year in Rio, I know firsthand just how competitive he is. He’s got a great goaltender mentality- he’s never too high and never too low,” said Ruskowski. “He takes on every game as a personal challenge and more times than not he meets that challenge. I am delighted to have the opportunity to coach him again with the Mallards. He will be a huge asset for the team.”
Murray returned to North America with the Killer Bees last season after heading to Serbia to join HK Partizan Belgrade for the 2010-11 campaign. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, native turned in superlative numbers- a 1.98 goals against average and a .941 save percentage in 25 games- while backstopping Partizan to a league title.
The 6’ 0”, 197-pound Murray tended goal in the ECHL for the bulk of his first two professional seasons. He started 2009-10 with the Victoria Salmon Kings before going on to spend the majority of the year with the Johnstown Chiefs. As a rookie in 2008-09, Murray saw action with the Ontario Reign and – briefly- Mississippi Sea Wolves and was also chosen to play in the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game. Murray also played one American Hockey League game- for the Syracuse Crunch- during his first full year as a pro. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, native got his first taste of the professional ranks when he took the ice with the Reading Royals of the ECHL for eight games at the tail end of the 2007-08 season.
Before turning pro, Murray played two years of junior hockey in the United States Hockey League and two more north of the border in the Ontario Hockey League. He suited for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede from 2004 to 2006 and represented Sioux Falls in the 2006 USHL All-Star Game. 2006-07 saw Murray earn team Most Valuable Player honors with the Kitchener Rangers and make another All-Star appearance, this time in the OHL’s mid-season classic. He closed out his junior career with the Kingston Frontenacs in 2007-08.
2012-13 Mallards season tickets as well as the Mallards’ new Partial Punch Plan are on sale now. The Mallards offer ticket packages to meet any budget, including youth season tickets now available for as little at $165. The Partial Punch Plan provides flexibility and affordability- each Punch Plan punch card can be redeemed for ten tickets- whether those tickets are for ten different games, all for the same game or anything in between- subject to availability. Partial Punch Plans can be had for as little as $70 for youth 12 and under. For more ticket package information, fans can call the Mallards at 309-277-1364.