Monarchs Clinch Playoff Spot – Fuck the Bears
Going into this past weekend, the Monarchs had three away games left to play and a lot of ground to cover. Frankly, I was worried. Every streak comes to an end, so knowing that the guys were rolling into a threesome riding a four-game winning streak had me shitting bricks. Especially because just like last weekend’s trifecta (of awesome), these were games they needed to win.
So what the hell happened, aside from the Monarchs kickin’ ass and chewing bubble gum like the big swinging dicks we all know they are? Shit got real. The mighty Hershey Bears — 2010 Calder Cup Champs — lost to the Adirondack Phantoms. The Norfolk Admirals — 2012 Calder Cup Champs — got crushed by the Syracuse Crunch. And the Connecticut Whale — 2000 Calder Cup Champs — lost to the Albany Devils.
In game one, the Monarchs beat the Binghamton Senators — 2011 Champs — on Friday night. Pearson and Vey lit the lamp in the first period and the third period, respectively. And much to my shock and delight, they also beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night by way of three third period tallies from Kolomatis, Andreoff and Pearson.
Was lightning going to strike twice and give the Monarchs another weekend trifecta?
Sadly, no… In their Sunday evening battle with the Bears, they were behind two goals by the end of the first, and just never found a way to get the lead.
Of course one should point out that the Bears beat a goalie playing in his first ever AHL hockey game; Monarchs call-up, Ty Rimmer. The final score was 4-2 with Rimmer stopping 36 of 40 shots. The fact it wasn’t something like 8-0 against a team with so many offensive weapons says a lot for the kid. Good on him.
It was just a bonus that other teams nipping at their heels (or having their heels nipped at) also lost their games on Friday night too. It was as though the planets aligned and Jeebus himself said “Thou shalt play post season hockey.” All I know is when I heard the news that they clinched a playoff berth for the 11th time in 12 seasons — 7th place in the east — I was giddy.
So here we are, five short days away from the first round of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. On Friday night, the Monarchs will be heading to Springfield to take the ice against the Falcons in two away games. In their regular season matchups, the Monarchs are 2-1 against them when playing on their ice. With the guys’ renewed vigor, purpose and desire, this spells bad news for the birdies.
You should believe.
Go Monarchs (and Kings)!
…and a special thank you to the Kings for giving us back Tyler Toffoli. Can you believe that feisty little bastard played Friday night despite being on the plane all day? He even got an assist. Ain’t nothin’ gonna break his stride.