Monarchs searching for a win
The struggling Manchester Monarchs will host the equally struggling St. John's IceCaps for a pair of games this weekend, starting Friday night at 7 at Verizon Wireless Arena. The teams meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. and Manchester closes the weekend at Connecticut Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Monarchs (21-22-5, 47 points) enter Friday night's game with a 0-5-1 mark in their last six outings. St. John's (21-26-3, 45) has lost four in a row.
"It's time for a win or two. We've got to find a way," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "It's been a struggle."
Tuesday night's "Pink in the Rink" game started off with Providence leading 4-1. But a three-goal third period from Manchester electrified the large crowd and forced overtime. The Monarchs held a 3-1 lead in the shootout but could not hold on as the Bruins came back to win.
It was just another tough loss to swallow in a season that has had a lot of those bitter pills.
"The way things have unfolded for us this year, it continues to make you shake your head," Morris said. "We'll have to regroup and build on what we did in the third period."
One ray of light to emerge from the recent darkness is the discovery of winger Colton Yellow Horn. The rookie call-up from Ontario of the ECHL has a goal and two assists in three games with Manchester.
"He's a hockey player," Morris said. "If he continues to do what he's doing, he's going to be a standout. He's got great composure, unbelievable hockey sense and a strong stick, sure hands. I like what I've seen so far and I'm encouraged by it. There's so much that I like about his game. He brings an element of poise and sure-handedness that we need."
Yellow Horn has been productive at every level of hockey he's played at and was leading Ontario in scoring with better than a point a game with 36 goals and 22 assists for 58 points in 48 games.
Why the 25-year-old Yellow Horn has never played at the AHL level before joining Manchester is a mystery, but it could be that teams were scared off by his size. He is generously listed as 5-foot-9, but has a rugged frame at 190 pounds and will throw the body around.
Yellow Horn's arrival comes at a time when the Monarchs could use scoring and bodies as captain Marc-Andre Cliche remains sidelined after having surgery. Manchester is also down to six players on the blue line as well with Andrew Campbell called up to Los Angeles.
The game at Connecticut Sunday marks the first of a six-game road trip for the Monarchs. Manchester returns to VWA on March 6 to welcome back former assistant coach Scott Pellerin and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.