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New Hampshire Union Leader

November 02. 2012 12:31AM

The first 2,000 fans at Verizon Wireless Arena tonight will be able to cast their "vote" by selecting one of two bobblehead dolls. 

MANCHESTER - The Manchester Monarchs will look to keep their hot streak rolling with a pair of games this weekend.

The Monarchs host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight at 7 o'clock for "Bobblehead Election Night" at Verizon Wireless Arena. The first 2,000 fans will be able to cast their "vote" by selecting a bobblehead of either President Barack Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Manchester will close the weekend with a game at Worcester Sunday at 3 p.m. The Monarchs are off to a 5-1-0 start for 10 points and first place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of second-place St. John's despite the IceCaps having played two more games.

And even though the Monarchs have allowed just one goal in their past two games, head coach Mark Morris wants to see his team tighten up defensively.

"We're doing a lot of good things," Morris said. "We just need to continue to work on being good defenders."

The new aggressive style of play this season means that occasional odd-man rushes go the other way. On Sunday in a 4-0 win, Monarchs goalie Martin Jones made his two best saves of the day on a breakaway and two-on-one.

With the offense excelling in the new system, if the defense can clamp down it will lead to that much more success for Manchester.

"This group has a lot of creativity and we're excited about being able to put the puck away," Morris said. "We'll work on getting better defensively so we can focus on what we do well."

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has struggled out of the gate with a 2-5-0 record for last place in the East Division. The Penguins will hit town in desperation mode and they do have some talented players like Eric Tangradi (five goals) and Benn Ferriero (five assists), who was a Monarchs killer over the past three seasons with Worcester.

As for those Sharks, Sunday's meeting will be an Atlantic rematch of last weekend's 5-1 Manchester win. Worcester will have played Friday and Saturday while the Monarchs will have enjoyed a Saturday night off.

Following the weekend set, the Monarchs will host their first mid-week game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when St. John's visits.

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Ian Clark may be reached at

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