Manchester Monarchs opened their season on the road last week against the Providence Bruins and the Albany Devils. Manchester pulled out victories in both games beginning the season 2-0-0-0 for the first time since the start of the 2009-10 season. Emotions ran high in both games as each contest was their opponent’s Home Openers.
“We will try to do the same thing on Friday on our side,” said Monarchs third year captain Marc-Andre Cliche. “We obviously want to win the first one at home that is why last week was big because those teams didn’t want to lose at home and they were two really good games for us. It was a big test and (we’re) looking forward to this weekend.”
The Monarchs have their first games in the Jungle since last April with a Friday night game against the Bruins and a Saturday night game versus the rival Portland Pirates in the first official VIP Cup match-up.
“The guys told me they get good crowds here so I am looking forward to it,” said Monarchs rookie left wing Tanner Pearson of his expectations for Friday and Saturday night. “It is going to me more (people) than back in Barrie where I played the last two years so it should be a good time.”
Pearson, who was drafted in the first round (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, along with rookie right wing Tyler Toffoli are a few of the new faces settling into life in the Los Angeles Kings organization.
“It is starting to feel like (home),” said Toffoli who was drafted in the second round (47th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. “It is getting good and I am getting really comfortable. All the guys have been great so far. I just want to keep going. Hopefully the team keeps playing well and (we) keep winning games.”
The Monarchs strong start has also been in part to their solid goaltending play to begin the year. Goaltender Martin Jones is 2-0-0 between the pipes for the Monarchs this season and has allowed just one goal in each of the first two games owning a 0.962 save percentage heading into this weekend.
“It is always good when you have a good goalie and everyone is confident in him,” said Cliche. “It is so much easier to play and to be more aggressive. It is perfect for the system we have here.”
Last weekend, the Monarchs played spoiler to their opponents. This week however, the roles will be reversed as their opponents will be trying to play spoiler to the Monarchs Home Opening Weekend. Friday’s Opening Night game is at 7:00 p.m. against the Bruins and the Opening Saturday game is versus the Pirates on at 7:00 p.m.
“It is a big weekend for us because we played two games that were their openers and coming out with two wins was big,” said Cliche. “The week has been to long just waiting for this weekend to come. It is going to be exciting.”
Fridays game will be streamed LIVE right here on LAKings.com at 4pm PT.