Monarchs have busy weekend ahead
The Manchester Monarchs will host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight at 7 at Verizon Wireless Arena and the Providence Bruins Saturday at 7 p.m. for "Mullets in Movember" where the first 3,000 fans will receive free mullet wigs and mustaches to celebrate "Movember," the men's cancer awareness movement that encourages men to grow mustaches this month.
Tonight's game features the return of Scott Pellerin, the former Monarchs assistant coach now in his first year as head coach of the Sound Tigers, who are off to a 6-3 start under "Pelly."
"Bridgeport is a good team and Pelly's a good coach so we're going to have to prepare well," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "No doubt he'll have his guys ready and we'll do the same. It should be a great game."
Bridgeport is a strong offensive team, led by Nino Niederreiter (six goals, four assists for 10 points) and rookie Brock Nelson (5-4-9). Goaltender Kevin Poulin has been a key to success as well, off to a 6-2-0 start.
The Monarchs (6-2-1) have a mixed bag of good news, bad news on the injury front. Forward Stefan Legein is expected to miss the game for precautionary reasons after taking an elbow to the head in Wednesday's 4-1 win over St. John's.
On the positive side, centerman Andrei Loktionov is expected to return from an undisclosed injury that has forced him out of the lineup for the past two games. Loktionov has three goals and three assists in seven games.
"He should be ready to go for Friday," Morris said. "Hopefully he is able to return to form and give us that veteran presence in the middle of the ice."
As for Saturday's visit from the Bruins, they come in at 3-5-0 for six points in last place in the Atlantic Division, which the Monarchs lead with 13 points. But Providence is coming in off a 3-0 win over St. John's Sunday and defeated Manchester 4-3 earlier this season.
The Bruins have a balanced scoring attack, with three players tied for a team-leading six points and two more right behind with five.
Maxime Sauve (4-2-6), Ryan Spooner (1-5-6) and Chris Bourque (0-6-6) lead the way while one of the Bruins top prospects, Carter Camper, has two goals and three assists, as does Jamie Tardif.
In net for the P-Bruins is likely to be rookie Niklas Svedberg, who is off to a 3-1-0 start with a solid 2.07 goals against average and .927 save percentage.
Fans are asked to bring a winter coat to donate on Saturday for a "Teaming up for warmth" coat drive. Following the weekend set, the Monarchs will remain at home for their annual "Education Day" event at 10 a.m. on Wednesday when they host Adirondack.