Monarchs Last Stand
It’s hard to believe but the Manchester Monarchs 2012-13 regular season home schedule concludes this weekend. Fortunately for Monarchs Country, the Monarchs have three home games in as many days beginning on Friday night. All three games will be exciting as the Monarchs need to win their games to catch the teams in front of them for the eighth and final playoff position in the 2013 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.
Having their backs against the wall is a familiar feeling for the Monarchs as they were out of the playoffs last season with three games remaining before clinching a playoff position. Manchester won its final three games of the regular season and charged into the playoffs before ending the Norfolk Admirals record 28-game winning streak in the first round of the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Monarchs are on a similar path this season and have their work cut out for them if they are to make the playoffs for the 11th time in 12 seasons.
“It is going to be a huge weekend for us moving forward and we have to capitalize on the home games we have,” said Monarchs center Jordan Weal. “We will have to be strong on home ice. It is going to be a big weekend for our club because it could decide the season and we will keep fighting for the next weekend.”
Manchester knows it will take a complete team effort to accomplish their goal of keeping the season alive.
“It’s going to be that game that we are going to have to all buy in and all sell out for each other and work as a 22-man unit because that is how you are going win in this league,” stated Weal.
Weal has been doing his part of late in the offensive end as he is currently on a three-game goal (three tallies) and point streak (3-2=5). Weal’s linemates have also been producing and is one of the reasons the Monarchs find themselves alive in the playoff hunt.
“I’m just trying to work hard and I told my linemates to work hard too because when I was with Colton (Yellow Horn) and Brandon (Kozun), we are three small guys but if we work hard and move our feet then good things are going to happen. I think if everyone brings it for a full 60 minutes, I think we will see good results.”
Despite the road ahead of them, the Monarchs are remaining focused on the next game, the next 20 minutes and really the next shift.
“We can’t look forward to the games ahead,” reasoned Weal. “We have to play one game at a time and even one shift at a time. If we do that and win as many battles as we can, I think we will come out on top.”
While the Monarchs will not be looking ahead to Sunday’s games, Monarchs fans will. Sunday is the last regular season home game for the Monarchs and the players will once again be awarding their jerseys to fans post-game. Each year, the Monarchs players like to show their appreciation to their fans that have supported them all season long with this post-game on-ice celebration.
“It is nice to give back to the fans that support you all year,” said veteran defenseman David Kolomatis. “Obviously, we are not in the spot that we would like to be in but they have stuck with us all year long and we definitely appreciate that.”