Monarchs Captain Back For Calder Push
The Manchester Monarchs 2012-13 regular season has just 13 games remaining with seven home contests. The Monarchs currently sit tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with the top eight teams making the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Monarchs are just three points out of a playoff position. Manchester has their work cut out for them but the position is an all too familiar one for the team that has a never say die attitude.
“We went through it last year,” said Monarchs left wing Marc-Andre Cliche. “It came down to the last three games of the season and we had to win them all to get in. This year is kind of the same scenario but we are behind right now. We essentially have to win every game and everyone has to be sharp down the stretch here.”
Cliche, who has missed the last 17 games after needing surgery to repair a lower body injury, is expected to be back in the line-up for the first time this weekend against the Hershey Bears.
“Hopefully, his veteran experience will give us a level of depth and maturity,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “He’s an experienced player and having been injured for that duration of time, I’m hopeful his energy is high and he can help to elevate the level of play of his teammates and linemates.”
As captain of the Monarchs for the third straight season, Cliche does not feel any added pressure to come in and perform, rather he just wants to come in and play his game.
“I think I just have to come in and do the same thing I used to do by keeping everybody sharp and bringing good leadership,” said Cliche. “I’m not known for my big offensive skills but I can put some pucks in the net and just come back and work hard, trying to make others better.”
The Monarchs recent nine-game point streak has been followed by a three-game losing streak with the Monarchs scoring just one goal in those three games.
“It’s a good thing the team was doing well, it made it easier for me to be out,” said Cliche. “Down the stretch now, I’m just really excited to get back out there and help out the team and make the playoffs.”
The Monarchs opportunity to make the playoffs is right in front of them as nine of the remaining 13 games will be against teams currently seeded in a playoff position and if last year taught Monarchs Country anything, this year’s playoff race is sure to come down to the wire.