Manchester Monarchs v. St. John’s IceCaps. The Opener, Part Deux

Oh man, what a Friday night! The Manchester Monarchs kicked off their 2011-2012 campaign in grand fashion, skating and shooting to a commanding 5-2 victory over division rival, the Springfield Falcons. To call the game a spectacle would be an understatement; clearly their 2-1 preseason loss against the Portland Pirates was a thing of the past. The team looked really good; even better then I expected. Nearly half of their skaters recorded at least a point, Martin Jones was solid in net, and Captain Mark-Andre Cliche even got himself a hat trick.

As I mentioned in Monarchs Review and Look Ahead, the team lost several of its best guys in the off-season. Clearly the team’s strong nucleus remained intact though. Everyone looked to be gelling really well, and concerns of certain players’ disdain toward being assigned to Manchester (like Andrei Loktionov) were clearly overstated. If he performs that well with a chip on his shoulder, I couldn’t imagine what he’d do without it. Maybe score an “Ovechtrick?”

Today’s a new day and this evening the Monarchs play the second of their opening weekend pair; a duel with the St. John’s IceCaps. Although they’re new to the league, the IceCaps actually used to be the Manitoba Moose, a western conference team the Monarchs typically don’t play. I’ll tell you this much, if the Monarchs play like they did last night, all signs point to victory number two going in the books. The IceCaps did win their season opener too last night against the Baby B’s (Providence Bruins) 4-1, but there’s something special about the 2011-2012 roster.

Naturally, anything less than victory tonight would be disappointing, but this new crew has already shattered my expectations. Let’s hope that the same can be said for tonight’s game!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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3 replies

  1. Minor-league hockey can be excellent when the GM has been drafting and legitimate big-club players are getting cock-blocked and brooding over delayed major-league debuts and losing potential major-league seasons. I would be interested in watching some games – can you recommend a streaming site?

    The occasional cheesiness can be endearing – San Diego Gulls mascot Sandy Gull was a childhood favorite (I listened to their games when the Kings weren’t playing and I was thought to be sleeping).

    • Thanks for reading!

      I think you definitely see your fair share of players whose performance is clearly phoned-in on occasion for one reason or another. The Monarchs players are generally good about not doing that, but there are occasionally exceptions. There was a goaltender last season who was actually sent back down after a year or two on the Kings (Ersberg), and he clearly didn’t care at all whether he stopped shots or not. Thankfully he got himself a KHL deal and went on his way in short order.

      In regards to your question about options for streaming, I’m not sure of any free options, but AHLLive.com lets you pay to watch individual games. That might be something to check into.

  2. Thanks. Looking forward to your reports.

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