Monarchs’ weekend will end with a bang
The Manchester Monarchs will squeeze two more games into 2011.
The Monarchs (19-12-2, 40 points, second place in the Atlantic Division) play at Albany tonight at 7 before returning home to Verizon Wireless Arena Saturday night for a New Year's Eve tilt against Providence that will feature post-game fireworks.
Manchester has not faced Albany (14-13-5, 33, second place in Northeast) this season and Monday's 4-1 win over Providence (13-17-3, 29) featured two fights in the first four seconds.
'We're looking forward to a big night with the Albany game, and the last meeting with Providence was a heated game,' Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. 'I would expect a lot of energy in the building on New Year's Eve.'
Manchester is coming off a 3-1 loss at Worcester Wednesday night.
'It was kind of a strange game. It was real tight and I think we had some outstanding chances to capitalize but we made some ill-advised decisions with the puck on our stick,' Morris said. 'The effort was there but we seemed to be out of synch.'
The Monarchs trailed 3-0 in the third and got a late Dwight King shorthanded goal, but other chances went by the wayside.
'Linden Vey was standing wide-open off the post and it would have been a tap-in, but he made one too many moves and it was lost,' Morris said. 'Robbie Czarnik had a breakaway chance (but didn't score).'
Manchester is still without injured forwards Jordan Nolan, Justin Azevedo, Rich Clune, Ethan Moreau and defenseman David Kolomatis.
Morris said the plan was to study film on Albany Thursday after practice and continue the process of getting new players like J.D. Watt, Chris Cloud and former University of New Hampshire player Joe Charlebois more comfortable in the system.
'We're really focused on trying to work on our execution and getting the newcomers in synch with the way we want to play,' Morris said. 'We're still playing with a lot of passion and energy and we just need to get back to the mindset that had us on a winning run.'