The oddity that is this year’s ECHL goaltending continues with yet another twist. According to AHL Transactions the Nashville Predators have assigned Matt O’Connor to the Manchester Monarchs. This will be O’Connor’s third different ECHL team on the 2017-18 season and all came after he had the chance to play for the Norfolk Admirals who began the season as the organization’s ECHL affiliate.
O’Connor has had an odyssey of a season so far. He started out as the Milwaukee Admirals back-up after beating out Jake Paterson in Training Camp. After sustaining an injury that sidelined him for November O’Connor would get his return to action in the ECHL. That came after the Norfolk Admirals had their ECHL affiliation agreement terminated by the Nashville Predators. He was assigned to the Atlanta Gladiators where he played 4 games. O’Connor and Paterson have since cycled through the Quad City Mallards on a number of occasions in an effort to get them a better access to logging time between the pipes.
What has been clear is that the Mallards have been extremely rough on both O’Connor and Paterson. Quad City (ECHL) has the worst record in the ECHL going 10-23-3-1 (24 points, 0.324 points percentage) and their goal differential of -66 (91 goals forced, 157 goals against) is by far and away the largest in the league. The two goaltenders have combined for 10 starts with the Mallards and had a record of 1-6-2-1 with a 5.22 goals against average and 0.854 save percentage. They saw a combined average of 34.8 shots per game.
Any change of scenery for O’Connor might be good right now. His season as a whole has been a blackout. In the ECHL his totals read: 0-8-1-1 record from 10 starts with a 4.51 goals against average and 0.869 save percentage. He has made just 2 starts in the AHL with the Admirals to date. He lost both games and his last start came prior to his initial injury back on 11/5/17 in Grand Rapids. He now joins a Manchester Monarchs team that is currently leading the North Division and his third in the ECHL’s Western Conference standings. Hopefully this sees improvement in the organization’s depth goaltending. It has been rough so far.
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