MOLINE, Ill. – The Quad City Storm have been busy so far this off-season, signing 22 players in two months. The team took a break from announcing signings in the last half of August, but a new name was donned on the home arena.
Only six of the players announced so far have been new names, but the home arena for the Storm has a new name now as well. Formerly known as the TaxSlayer Center since 2017, tomorrow the arena’s name will officially change to Vibrant Arena at The MARK. This is a throwback to the original name of the Moline civic and conference center, which opened in 1993. The MARK was renamed the iWireless Center in 2005, and then renamed the TaxSlayer Center in 2017 in what was originally a ten-year agreement. Vibrant, the company which now owns the naming rights to the arena in this ten-year, $4 million agreement, is a national credit union, financial services, and insurance company based in Moline itself.
On the ice, the first new player announced by the Storm this summer was Jacob Ratcliffe on July 19. Ratcliffe played three seasons at Westfield State University, appearing in 80 games and scoring 30 goals with 32 assists. Ratcliffe is currently in Australia playing for the AIHL Sydney Bears in his second season there; the Canterbury, New Zealand native has 12 goals and 15 assists in only 13 games with the Bears this season. While at Westfield State University, Ratcliffe was teammates with Storm blue-liner Triston Theriot, who has re-signed with the Storm for this season as well.
Patrick Gazich joins the Storm after playing last season for the Pensacola Ice Flyers, with whom he appeared in six games to end the season. Gazich spent most of the season with the NCAA Division-III Gustavus Adolphus College, playing in 24 games last season with a total of nine goals, five assists, and 38 penalty minutes as captain. Over his college career, the Minnetonka, MN native appeared in 64 games and totaled 11 goals and 13 assists.
The second goaltender signing this summer after Kevin Resop was Wyatt Hoflin, who suited up for Mount Royal University in 26 games over his collegiate career. The netminder had a save percentage of .892 in his last season with the Cougars, during which he also appeared in two playoff games for the team. Though rostered in the 2020-21 season, he did not appear in any games for the team.
Justin Daly, a forward from Delano, MN, joins the Storm after one season at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2020-21. He appeared in six games for the team, earning one assist. Alex Carlson joins the Storm’s blue line after appearing for the ECHL Iowa Heartlanders last season. With the Heartlanders, Carlson suited up for 46 games and scored once. He has much familiarity with many of the Storm players from last season, due to the many who had call-ups to the team that is roughly 70 minutes away. Carlson played for the Knoxville Ice Bears for three seasons after college, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, totaling 52 games with four goals and as many assists.
The Storm signed goaltender Ryan Edquist on August 13th, the netminder having appeared in five games for the Evansville Thunderbolts last season. A product of Boston College, he had a save percentage of .867 during those games.
The Storm begin their season at home on Friday, October 21 against the Peoria Rivermen.
Follow @FPHStorm on Twitter, for the latest news about the Quad City Storm throughout the offseason and beyond.
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