action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

October 11. 2012 8:45PM

Monarchs eager to get the regular season started

The NHL may be locked out, but pro hockey is alive and well in the AHL.

The Manchester Monarchs open the season tonight in Providence at 7:05 and then play at Albany Saturday night at 5:05. After a 3-0 preseason, the players are ready to hit the ice for real.

“We're all to the point where we want to get this thing going now. It's an exciting opening weekend schedule we have,” said Monarchs defenseman Thomas Hickey. “We have to take care of business first in Providence and then get on the road (to Albany).”

The Monarchs will be facing a Bruins team with a revamped lineup that should have fans of the parent club in Boston intrigued.

At the top of the list for newcomers is Chris Bourque, the son of legendary Bruins Hall of Fame defenseman Ray. Bourque led the AHL in scoring last year with 93 points on 27 goals and a league-high 66 assists with Hershey.

Bourque is a legitimate playmaker and should get a good shot with Boston when the NHL resumes play.

Another player moving over from the Hershey Bears to the Providence version is Christian Hanson, son of infamous “Slap Shot” star Dave Hanson. But the offspring of the famous on-screen goon is a talented playmaker who has been hampered by injuries but will have a chance to flourish in Providence.

Returning Bruins players to watch include forwards Carter Camper, Jordan Caron and Craig Cunningham, and defensemen Matt Bartkowski and David Warsofsky.

Camper led Providence in scoring last season with 18-30-48 while Caron would be in Boston if not for the lockout. Caron scored 7-8-15 in 48 games with Boston last season. Cunningham (20-16-36) will look to take the next step toward a regular shift in the NHL.

Bartkowski improved his play in his own end significantly last season and Warsofsky moves the puck well from the point and racked up 24 assists last year.

In goal, the P-Bruins have Michael Hutchinson as the No. 1 man now. This will be Hutchinson's third pro season and his first as the clear-cut top netminder.

With a new system installed by the Kings and it being the season opener, the Monarchs will be looking internally rather than at the opposition to start the season.

“We'll be focused on ourselves,” Hickey said. “With some film to work on with what we've done in the exhibition games it will be really useful.”

The Monarchs open the home slate next Friday when Providence visits.

 NH Sports Angle » more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices ‘as productive as any’

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

Special golf cart helping Vietnam veteran play game he loves article

And so it begins: Equipment distribution starts a new era in Plymouth football

Tailgating changes for UNH football games

Report: Pirates' pitcher Jeff Locke cleared in gambling probe involving childhood friend from Conway

Tim O’Sullivan: Even with NFL success, NH’s Kelly remembers his roots

Chip Kelly: 'Put some Galoshes on and go play'

Survey says Duke the most hated college hoops team in NH

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, trying to make big time article

Gorham papermill owner Lynn Tilton is getting Yale tennis award

Ex-bank president co-authors racing book

New England Patriots are the most hated NFL team in the world

Travis Hughes: It's time to drastically overhaul minor league hockey in North America

Portsmouth native, 47, conquers 21-mile swim of the English Channel

Bennett to take control of the flags for Granite State Pro Stock Series

Air Force captain serving in NH honored before Red Sox-Yankees crowd at Fenway

Newmarket woman second to run solo across the U.S.

VIDEO: A car's-eye view of the demolition derby at Cheshire County Fair

With NASCAR's $8.2B TV deal, nobody wants to be at back of pack

Kelly tinkers with Philadelphia offense

New Hampshire’s Sam Fuld traded back to A's

CAA preseason poll puts a target on New Hampshire, coach says


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory