The Quad City Mallards welcomed back defenseman Bob Preece at just the right time this week.|
Preece rejoined the Double-A hockey squad Monday, at the same time fellow blue-line holdovers Jason Kostadine and Jared Lavender wound up on Injured Reserve.
Both Kostadine (14-day IR) and Lavender (7-day IR) suffered lower-body injuries last weekend, when Central Hockey League leader Allen swept the Flock in a two-game slugfest at Moline's i wireless Center.
Kostadine's injury, suffered during a 4-3 shootout setback last Friday, prevented the veteran from playing in the 3-2 rematch Saturday, snapping his streak of 139 straight regular-season starts.
Preece, back for a third season with QC, started this season in Poland. The 27-year-old tied for sixth in the CHL in plus/minus ratio (+23) last season, playing in all 66 of the Mallards' games.
"We're thrilled to have Bob back with the Mallards,'' said QC coach Terry Ruskowski. "Bob did an excellent job for this team over the last two years and bringing him back gives us another quality defenseman who can play in important situations and who really improves our depth on defense.''
Also before departing Thursday morning for Wichita, and the start of another three-game weekend, the Mallards inked veteran goalie Jimmy Spratt to replace netminder Joe Palmer.
According to a press release from the club, Palmer left the team after last Saturday's setback to pursue endeavors outside of hockey.
Named the CHL's Goalie of the Week on Oct. 30, Palmer went 2-2-0 in four games with the Mallards while turning in a 3.15 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
Spratt, a 2004 NHL Draft pick, is in his fourth season professionally, three of them split among five ECHL squads. Spratt played five games in the CHL with Rapid City in 2010-11.
"Jimmy's an experienced, quality goaltender, who should be able to step in and help us out right away,'' said Ruskowski, whose team still employs part-time starter John Murray. "We were glad to be able to get someone of his ability to come in and fill that opening for us.''
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