Ian Clark's On Hockey: Yellow Horn relishes AHL shot
MANCHESTER -- COLTON YELLOW HORN has been a productive scorer at every level of hockey. Now he's trying to make that work in the American Hockey League.
Yellow Horn made his AHL debut with the Manchester Monarchs in Sunday's 3-2 loss at Providence. The 25-year-old left wing notched an assist skating on a line with David Meckler and Anthony Stewart, but also saw time with Robbie Czarnik and Stefan Legein.
Yellow Horn was on the ice in the final minute of the game on Sunday as the extra attacker with goalie Martin Jones on the bench. Yellow Horn was in the lineup Tuesday night for Manchester's "Pink in the Rink" game as well.
"It was exciting," Yellow Horn said. "My first chance in the AHL, I had a lot of fun out there and just tried to keep things simple and not make too many mistakes. Showing confidence in having me out there in the last minute, hopefully next time we can get one."
Yellow Horn is from Brocket, Alberta, and is a Native American from the Blackfoot tribe. He grew up on a large cattle ranch and enjoys getting back home when he can to the rural Canadian farmlands.
"My parents have a ranch and my dad is manager of the Band Ranch, which runs about 500 cattle and we have about 50 head of our own. That's what we focus on in the summer when I go home and help out," Yellow Horn said. "We do rodeo on the weekend. I really enjoy going home. Hopefully, one day I'll have my own ranch."
Yellow Horn is small at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, but has been a solid scoring threat at every level, having played in the WHL, ECHL, CHL and Austria. Prior or his call-up to Manchester, Yellow Horn was leading the Kings' ECHL affiliate, Ontario, in scoring with 36 goals and 22 assists in 48 games for the Reign.
With the Monarchs short on players due to injury (captain Marc-Andre Cliche is out for a while after having surgery) and the trade of Andrei Loktionov to the New Jersey organization, Yellow Horn has a chance to see a lot of ice time and make the most of this chance.
"It's great. It's what everybody works for, to get to the NHL and this is one step closer," Yellow Horn said. "Hopefully, I can take this opportunity in stride."
The Monarchs are home Friday and Saturday nights at Verizon Wireless Arena for a two-game visit from Atlantic Division rival St. John's.
Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.