Despite white stuff, Monarchs think pink
MANCHESTER - Despite all the white stuff that will have piled up outside, the Manchester Monarchs are hoping "Pink in the Rink" will draw fans inside.
The Monarchs' annual breast cancer awareness night is set for Saturday at Verizon Wireless Arena at 7 p.m. when the Providence Bruins visit. The annual game, which features Manchester donning pink jerseys that will be auctioned off as well as pink-dyed ice, has special meaning for the players.
Chief among them is defenseman David Kolomatis, whose mother Ellen is a breast cancer survivor.
"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in my second or third year of junior (hockey). She's since been cleared," Kolomatis said. "It's always nice when this game comes around. And it's good to have that memory (of her beating it) because some people aren't so lucky. It's nice to give back."
These type of games have become popular in the hockey ranks and the players have taken to it.
"It's a cause that's near and dear to a lot of people connected to the game and it's nice that we can do our part to help in our search to find a cure for breast cancer," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "It's great to see hockey has embraced this cause at every level."
There are still a limited number of tickets available in the upper level for the game.
"It's always a special night and a good cause and touches each guy the same way. We're looking forward to it," said Monarchs forward Linden Vey. "It's a game we mark on the calendar and look forward to. We'd like to win that one for the home crowd, that's for sure."
Manchester is yet again faced with a tough task this weekend not only in opponent but in its own locker room. With the trade of Andrei Loktionov and captain Marc-Andre Cliche having surgery, the Monarchs are down to bare bones for putting a team on the ice, with just six defensemen and 12 forwards.
Thursday, the Monarchs signed left wing Colton Yellow Horn to a professional tryout agreement. Yellow Horn, 25, has notched 36 goals and 22 assists for 58 points for the ECHL's Ontario Reign.
Additionally, Manchester comes in having lost four straight games to drop to 21-21-4 for 46 points while Providence (25-16-3, 53) enters on a five-game winning streak.
"We're going to have to be at our best," Morris said. "They're a deep team, with excellent goaltending and solid special teams. They've got good balance on their lines. We've seen them enough to realize what their strengths are and we need to be better defensively and make the most of our offensive opportunities when they come."
The Monarchs will close the weekend at Providence on Sunday at 3 p.m. The P-Bruins were scheduled to host Portland tonight, but that game has been rescheduled for Monday night.