The sounds of hockey are unmistakable and often resonate with hockey fans everywhere. The sounds of ice skates shaving the ice as players skate back and forth in drills, sticks slapping a rubber puck and bodies banging into the boards are all distinct sounds reserved for the fastest game on earth and are sounds that send chills down your body.
Those sounds return to Monarchs Country this Saturday as the Manchester Monarchs Training Camp hits the ice for the first time. It is hard to believe when the players lace up their skates on Saturday at Sullivan Arena, it will have been 155 days since the Monarchs last skated as a team and 155 days since the highly recognizable sounds of professional hockey have been heard in New Hampshire.
Thankfully, Monarchs Country’s withdrawal of hockey was delayed this summer with a lengthy playoff run for the Los Angeles Kings resulting in their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history. Watching the Kings winning it all and doing so in historic fashion kept Monarchs Country captivated into June giving the illusion of a shortened off-season. The tremendous achievement by the Kings only made Monarchs fan’s desire to see live hockey and to see where it all started that much greater.
Monarchs Country’s anticipation for the season to begin has taken to social media where fans have been tweeting the team and posting on the Monarchs Facebook page all summer long that they just heard the song “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses (the Monarchs opening song) and thought they should be walking to their seats for a Monarchs game.
Unfortunately, the eagerness has to wait until October 19 before hearing the team’s entrance song on Opening Night for the first time but they can catch a glimpse of the team at Training Camp and in two exhibition games prior to the Monarchs beginning the season on the road on October 12.
The fans are not the only ones glad to have hockey return in Manchester. The Kings prospects have been arriving this week and cannot wait to hit the ice as a team again.
“It feels very good to be back,” said defenseman Jake Muzzin. “After a long drive like that (eight and a half hours), we are excited to get things going and see the guys again. It is always exciting when the season is starting again. With all the talk about the NHL lockout and all this stuff and to know we will be playing is exciting. I think everyone is excited (to play).”
While the players were home and working out to prepare for this season, the Monarchs locker room received a face lift. As the players arrived this week, they were pleasantly shocked when they stepped into the new locker room.
“It is beautiful,” said defenseman Andrew Campbell. “It is really, really nice. They did a great job on it and I look forward to breaking it in.”
Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris is also excited for a fresh start but knows there is still work to do before they are ready for the season to start.
“There is a ton of work to be done and lots to teach,” said Morris. “It is kind of a work in progress at the moment but I am sure the influence of Darryl Sutter and what he brought to the Kings will make us a fun team to watch and a tough team to play against.”
The sounds of professional hockey will be back this weekend in Manchester and if you get chills when the Monarchs take the ice, it will not only be because the rink is cold. It will be the sounds of the game signaling that hockey is back! Before you know it, you will be hearing the sound of Monarchs play-by-play broadcaster Ken Cail’s voice saying “You’re in Monarchs Country!”