Fresno G MacDonald moving to Europe

Jul 24, 2007 - 3:15 PM NEWCASTLE, England (Ticker) -- The Newcastle Vipers have signed highly-rated young Canadian goaltender Ryan MacDonald of the ECHL's Fresno Falcons, the team announced Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Ontario native will become player-coach Rob Wilson's starting netminder for the 2007-08 bmibaby Elite League season.

MacDonald, who started his career with the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights in 2003-04, had been waiting for an offer from the NHL since the conclusion of last season, when he recorded an impressive .925 save percentage in 40 games with Fresno, the second-highest mark in the ECHL.

"This is a really exciting move," MacDonald said. "I have been talking to Rob Wilson for a while now about a move to the UK, but I knew there was an opportunity for me in the NHL.

"With the offer not coming from the NHL, I knew I wanted to move to Europe. Rob Wilson had postponed on signing his netminder, hoping I would become available and, having spoken at length about Newcastle, I'm delighted to be playing in the bmibaby Elite League next season."

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